Morocco and Spain: History of a Contentious Relationship - Morocco World News
Apr 11, Mediterranean crossroads: Spanish-Moroccan relations in past and contemporary scholarship on this cultural intersection is blurred and. Aug 7, The history of Spanish–Moroccan relations has been defined as one of social and cultural developments from the storm-tossed continent. Spanish culture is very welcoming and wants to make sure the visitor feels This personal space decreases as the relationship gets closer. .. Traditionally, Moorish culture has been seen negatively in Spain; this includes Moroccans.
It shows interest and a straight-forwarded personality. In "Old Guard" organizations, decisions are made in a very hierarchical fashion.
In the private sector, many large and small businesses have their origins in a family business and are managed tightly from above. In such organizations, the appropriateness of approaching immediate supervisors for answers or feedback will depend on the status quo of the particular organization and the approach of the supervisor.
Spain has advanced significantly in the 20 years following the Franco regime and has recently had to compete with more dynamic counterparts in the European Union.
As such, many of the organizations have adopted flatter organizational structures and a more dynamic environment. These organizations have often had to manage significant change in recent times and are quite agile at doing so. Decision-making power in such organizations is likely to be more dispersed and conducted in a more consultative manner. These organizations may or may not have established channels of communication for employees to ask questions and receive feedback, but this practice is usually encouraged.
Gender, Class, Religion and Ethnicity. What impact would the above attitudes have on the workplace? Women and men are considered equals by law and in a general sense. But still there are discriminatory behaviours against women in certain levels of society. Companies find legal ways to pay less to women that are doing the same task as men. Women are preferred in certain tasks because they are considered less conflictive than men.
Employers prefer not to hire women that are married and in the age range of having children to avoid paying for maternity leave.
And it is a common practice asking openly about marital status and future family plans in a job interview. For men it is seen as a good sign of maturity and stability; for women it is seen as a probability of a high level of absenteeism. In general, gender is not a restricting feature of any kind, though in private life, women assume the major part of the work at home and the education of the children.
This fact is changing among the younger generations and these changes are well regarded by the oldest generations. It is important to mention that there is a big difference between the rural areas and the cities. Catholicism is the most common religion in Spain. People are not discriminated against by religion either in the workplace field or in social life.
But if there is a difference it is not an issue that would be a basis for discrimination. Most of Catholics in Spain call themselves "believers" but not "practitioners". This means that they have been baptized and married according to religious ritual but that they never follow the other religious practices. Social class in Spain is not relevant in terms of social relations or labour opportunities. Classes are divided according to money and not race, religion or any other factor.
Culture and education are more important in order to succeed. A person from a lower class family who is well educated has the same opportunities for success as a person from a higher social class. Education, at all levels, is free in Spain. There is only one class that is really different from the rest of Spanish people: It is not even considered a true class since the possession of a noble title does not ensure possessions, money, special treat or any other favours.
Spain is a democratic country where all the people have the same privileges and opportunities. The only advantage is the glamour related to such families. Spain has been traditionally a very racially homogeneous country, all white, but mostly "latin-looking" in the southern regions and Caucasian-looking in the northern regions.
But this fact is presently changing, given globalization and immigration. Spain has been traditionally a country of emigrants and not immigrants.
There are two distinct ethnicities that suffer from discriminatory behaviour in Spain: Gypsies in general have always been rejected for their complete different way of life. They usually only follow their own regulations and "patriarcas" head of each family and refuse to live according to any central national government laws or to any of the western standards like housing, jobs or education.
Because of the huge differences with the "payo" majority culture, people are usually scared and consider them thieves, pocket lifters and tend to discriminate them in job opportunities, housing or education. Their way of life inside a western culture does not help to adjust and get money or a comfortable life, which has contributed to young gypsies suffering more the effects of drug addiction and the criminal world related to it.
Traditionally, Moorish culture has been seen negatively in Spain; this includes Moroccans, Algerians, Lebanese and Turkish. Nobody really knows the reason of the aversion against northern Mediterranean culture since they have contributed in a great deal to Spanish culture.
The truth is that Spanish people discriminate against them. This discrimination is not related to skin colour, race or religion practises. In fact, they are very well respected. The rural and southern regions tend to be less progressive in their attitudes towards and treatment of women.
The management of organizations operating in these regions tend to be almost exclusively dominated by men and the clerical positions occupied by women. The northern regions and the large cities are significantly more progressive than their southern and rural counterparts, but it remains a male-oriented culture.
Middle-age to older generations still live in a culture of reinforced gender stereotypes. The younger generations in Spain, especially women, have largely rejected the gender role that confined their parents and have become very progressive.
Many more women are pursuing their careers as a priority over having children, getting married, and looking after their husbands. Many more men are becoming more progressive about gender equality and are involved in the same issues that accompany dual- career relationships and families. The attitudes regarding women in the workplace will vary according to the region of Spain and the culture of the organization. More progressive organizations and organizations managed by "new generation managers" are increasingly dominant in the workplace and are relatively free of gender issues.
People in the more progressive organizations will often have fun by blatantly reinforcing gender roles in casual conversation. Expats from North America are often not used to this type of joking, which is a common feature of the Spaniards sense of humour and relative lack of political correctness in the workplace; it is not usually intended in any manner that is sexually discriminatory.
Spain is often cited as the most catholic country in the world, mainly because of the piety of the people. Due to the homogenous culture, there are heavy stereotypes placed on people of other religions. This is particularly the case for non-Christian religions. That said, most younger generation Spaniards will say they believe in God but do not practice their faith. Nevertheless, there is a strong identification with the Catholic Church and the overwhelming majority of Spaniards baptize their children, get married in church, paying taxes to the Church, and celebrating catholic holidays and religious ceremonies.
Spain is a relatively class-conscious country compared to Canada. The lower class is largely comprised of Spaniards migrating from the southern provinces to northern cities such as Barcelona and Madrid to work in manual labour. It tends to be concentrated in lower class neighbourhoods in the large cities and in whole towns outside industrial centres, a clear partitioning that is reinforced by a system that places great importance on private school education, private health coverage, and exclusivity.
It is not uncommon for middle class families to stretch the limits of their financial abilities to send children to private schools and exclusive universities. This is despite a reasonably good public education system.
As mentioned above, Spain is a very homogenous country with little exposure to people of different ethnicities. For this reason, there are heavy stereotypes placed on people of different ethnicities and there is widespread discrimination.
Although an expat that is a visible minority in Spain will undoubtedly face strong personal and professional stereotypes, standing in the community by nature of profession, education, ability to speak the language and local dialects will count for a lot and the community is likely to greet the person with reasonable open-mindedness and curiosity.
The most significant issue of ethnicity relates to the problem of illegal immigrants and integration of people from northern African countries such as Morocco and Algeria who are often grouped in with other Muslims. Indeed, there is a widespread tendency to group all Muslims and Indo-Asians together. There is a very destructive ethnic tension between the general population and "Muslim-looking" people which is quite unique to this group; other groups being quite small.
People of all ethnic minorities are looked upon as foreigners. All of the factors mentioned above will impact the workplace quite significantly and will depend on the nature of the workplace and the region within Spain. It would be important for foreigners likely to face negative stereotypes to master the Spanish language and be open to learning local dialects. This would be less true for an expat of Anglo-Saxon Christian origins. Cultural Information - Relationship-building Question: How important is it to establish a personal relationship with a colleague or client before getting to business?
It is not expected that one establish a relationship of this kind in advance. It is more relaxed than that. These relationships are developed by working together.
Spanish people are given to celebrate a lot of social events inside the work environment in order to promote social relationships such as lunches, dinners or even one-day trips to a well-known cultural event.
What it is important in order to integrate is to not refuse to attend those events. That would be considered impolite and antisocial. It is imperative to establish a personal relationship with a colleague or client before getting to business, even if it is a light exchange of niceties. A failure to do so with a colleague could be interpreted as a "brush off".
Because of the distance that often exists between higher and lower levels high authority in an organization, a lack of interest in developing a personal relationship with a colleague could be construed as a desire not to associate yourself with colleagues of a certain level. Similarly, a client may perceive a lack of interest in their business.
Success in working with colleagues and clients will often depend on the extent of the personal relationship because of the value that is put on sociability. Business is conducted more on the basis of personal relationships than it is in North America. What is more, ministers and senior officials frequently pay visits to discuss matters of mutual interest, or concerning the international agenda.
On the economic front, Spain also has strong ties with the Maghreb. Trade and investment relations are particularly important with Morocco and Algeria: The Maghreb is one of Spain's key energy suppliers. Security in the region is a shared concern for Spain and the countries of the Maghreb.
Organised crime, trafficking and international terrorism in the Sahel and Libya are a direct threat to the entire Mediterranean region. Spanish authorities are therefore working with their Maghrebi counterparts to identify and reduce risks and cooperate on political and legal issues to combat impunity.
The need to manage migratory flows has also led to the signing of agreements with countries in the Maghreb, a way station and transit zone for many immigrants who dream of reaching Europe.
In this regard, Spain supports the new migration policies of the countries in the region, such as Morrocco's. There has also been collaboration on this issue with Mauritania. The drive to form ever closer links between Spain and the Maghreb must necessarily include cultural initiatives; the greater the mutual understanding, the more effectively relations of any kind can be strengthened. Spain also plays a crucial role in the Euro-Mediterranean region, making decisive contributions to the inclusion of Maghrebi matters on the European Union's agenda.
Chocolate parlors, like coffee-houses and wine cellars, are public gathering places that purvey and attract customers to drink specific beverages. Their product, hard cider, is also bottled and exported to other regions and abroad. Wine, however, is the most common accompaniment to meals in most of the nation, and beer is drunk mostly before or between meals.
A number of desserts and sweets have a national presence, principally a group of milk desserts of the flan or caramel custard family. Cheese figures strongly as a dessert and is often served with quince paste. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Eating and drinking together are Spaniards' principal ways of spending time together, either at everyday leisure moments, weekly on Sundays, or on special occasions. Special occasions include both general religious feast days such as Easter and Christmas and such family celebrations as birthdays, personal saints' days, baptisms, First Communions, and weddings.
Many of these involve invited guests, and in small villages there may be at least token food offerings to the whole populace. Food is the principal currency of social exchange. The contents of special meals vary. Some feature dishes from the daily inventory at their most elaborate and numerous, with the most select ingredients.
Some respond to the Church's required abstentions principally from meat on particular days such as Christmas Eve and during Lent. Salt cod and eel are especially important in meatless dishes. Some purely secular festivals of rural families accompany the execution of major tasks: In some regions, a funeral meal follows a burial; this is hosted by the family of the deceased for their kin and other invited guests.
This meatless meal is in most places a thing of the past, and the Church has discouraged funeral banquets, but it was an important tradition in the north, in Basque, and in other regions. Spain has been a heavily agrarian, pastoral, and mercantile nation.
As of the middle of the twentieth century the nation was principally rural. Today, industry is more highly developed, and Spain is a member of the European Economic Community and participates substantially in the global economy.
Farmers' voluntary reorganization of the land base and the mechanization of agriculture both accomplished with government assistance have combined to modernize farming in much of the nation; these developments have in turn promoted migration from rural areas into Spain's cities, which grew significantly in the twentieth century. With the development of industry following World War II, cities offer industrial and other blue- and white-collar employment to the descendants of farm families.
The Spanish countryside as a whole has been largely self-sufficient. Local production varies greatly, even within regions, so regional and inter-regional markets are important vehicles of exchange, as has been a long tradition of interregional peddling by rural groups who came to specialize in purveying goods of different kinds away from their homes.
Land Tenure and Property. The chief factors that differentiate Spanish property and land tenure regimes are estate size and their partibility or impartibility. Much of the southern half of Spain, roughly south of the River Tajo, is characterized by latifundios, or large estates, on which a single owner employs farm laborers who have little or no property of their own.
Large estates date at least from Roman times and have given rise to a significant separation of social classes: In the north, by contrast, properties are small minifundios and are lived on—usually in pueblo communities—and worked principally by the families of their owners or secondarily by families who live on and work the estates on long-term leases.
Morocco–Spain relations - Wikipedia
The north of Spain, dominated by minifundios, is crosscut by a difference in inheritance laws whereby in some areas estates are impartible and in others are divisible among heirs. Most of the nation is governed by Castilian law, which fosters the division of the bulk of an estate among all heirs, male and female, with a general though variable stress on equality of shares.
There is a deep tradition in the northeast, however, whereby estates are passed undivided to a single heir not everywhere or always necessarily a male or the firstbornwhile other heirs receive only some settlement at marriage or have to remain single in order to stay on the familial property.
The passage of estates undivided down the generations is a touchstone of cultural identity where it is practiced just as estate division is deeply valued elsewhereand as part of a separate and ancient legal system, the protection of impartibility has been central to these regions' contentions with Castile over the centuries.
Spanish civil law recognizes stem-family succession in the regions where it is traditional through codified exceptions to the Castilian law followed in the rest of the nation. Nonetheless, the tradition of estate impartibility along the linguistic distinctions of the Basque and Catalan regions have long combined with other issues to make the political union of these two regions with the rest of Spain the most fragile seam in the national fabric.
Among Spain's traditional export products are olive oil, canned artichokes and asparagus, conserved fish sardines, anchovies, tuna, saltcodoranges including the bitter or "Seville" oranges used in marmaladewines including sherrypaprika made from peppers in various regions, almonds, saffron, and cured pork products. Cured serrano ham and the paprika-and-garlic sausage called chorizo have particular renown in Europe.
Historically, Spain held a world monopoly on merino sheep and their wool; Spain's wool and textile production including cotton is still important, as is that of lumber, cork, and the age-old work of shipbuilding.
There is coal mining in the north, especially in the region of Asturias, and metal and other mineral extraction in different regions. The Canary Islands' production of tobacco and bananas is important, as is that of esparto grass on the eastern meseta for the manufacture of traditional footgear and other items. Even though Spain no longer participates in Atlantic cod fishery, Spain's fisheries are nonetheless important for both national consumption and for export, and canneries are present in coastal areas.
There is increasingly rapid transport of seafood to the nation's interior to satisfy Spaniards' high demand for quality fresh fish and shellfish.
Leather and leather goods have longstanding and continuing importance, as do furniture and paper manufacture. Several different regions supply both utilitarian and decorative ceramics and ceramic tiles, along with art ceramics; others supply traditional cloth handiwork, both lace and embroidery, while others are known for specific metal crafts—such as the knife manufacture associated with Albacete and the decorative damascene work on metal for which Toledo is famed.
Spain's heavy industry has developed since the end of the Civil War, with investments by Germany and Italy, and after the middle of the twentieth century with investments by the United States. The basis for these developments is old, however: Spain's arms and munitions production is still important today, along with the manufacture of agricultural machinery, automobiles, and other kinds of equipment.
Most industry is concentrated around major cities in the north and east—Bilbao, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, and Zaragoza. These industries have attracted migrants from the largely agrarian south, where there are sharp inequalities in land ownership not characteristic of the north, while other landless southerners have made systematic labor migrations into industrial areas of Europe—France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland.
The most far-reaching development in Spain's economy since the s has been in the multifaceted tourist industry. The number of tourists who visit Spain each year is roughly equal to Spain's resident population. Much of the influx is seasonal, between March and October, but the winter season is important in a number of areas—for winter sports in mountain zones and for the warmth of the southern coasts and the Balearic and Canary Islands.
The hotel, restaurant, and other service sectors related to tourism constitute Spain's most significant industry, and it is one whose effects are felt in every corner of the nation. This has to do not only with the actual presence of tourists and the opening of areas of touristic interest, but also with expanded markets for Spanish products abroad as well as at home.
A growing international acquaintance with Spanish foodways has enhanced the demand for certain Spanish foodstuffs and wines. Spanish leather goods, ceramics, and other crafts have a heightened and increasingly global market. Additionally, the consciousness of touristic interest even in remote regions and not always with the help of professional promoters has broadened local people's awareness of the interest in their own cultural heritage.
Consequently, a variety of festivals and local products now enjoy expanded markets that often make real differences in local economies. The market for Spain's local and regional folk culture is not dependent just on international tourism; internal tourism, once reserved for the wealthy, is now promoted by television and the growth of automobile A cart outside a rural building in Castillo.
Stone is a popular building material in Spain, providing strength, insulation, and privacy. Spain is a member of the European Economic Community Common Market and has its heaviest trading relationship there, especially with Britain, and with the United States, Japan and the Ibero-American nations with which Spain also has deep historical ties and some trade relationships which date from the period of her New World empire.
Spain and the Maghreb
Among Spain's major exports are leather and textile goods; the commercialized foodstuffs named earlier; items of stone, ceramic, and tile; metals; and various kinds of manufactured equipment. Probably Spain's most significant dependence on outside sources is for crude oil, and energy costs are high for Spanish consumers. Once a predominantly agrarian and commercial nation, Spain was transformed during the twentieth century into a modern, industrial member of the global economic community.
With land reform and mechanization, the agrarian sector has shrunk and the commercial, industrial, and service sectors of the economy have grown in size, significance, and global interconnection. Because the tourist industry is Spain's greatest and this rests on various forms of services, the service sector of the economy has seen particular growth since the s.
Social Stratification Classes and Castes. The apex of Spain's social pyramid is occupied by the royal family, followed by the titled nobility and aristocratic families. But through history, Spaniards have been critical of their rulers. If only he had a good lord! In today's modern and democratic Spain, the circles around the royal family, titled nobility, and old aristocrats are ever widened by individuals who are endowed with social standing by virtue of achievements in business, public life, or cultural activity.
Wealth, including new wealth, and family connections to contemporary forms of power count for a great deal, but so do older concepts of family eminence.
Spain's middle class has burgeoned, its development having not suffered under Franco, and because the disdain for commercial activity that marked the ancien regime, and made nobles who kept their titles refrain from manual labor and most kinds of commerce, is long gone. Many heirs to noble titles choose not to pay the cost of claiming and maintaining them, but this does not deny them social esteem.
Many titled nobles make their livings in middle-class professions without loss of social esteem. The bases on which Spaniards accord esteem have expanded enormously since the demise of the feudal regime in the mid-nineteenth century. Entrepreneurial and professional success are admired, as are new and old money, rags-to-riches success, and descent from and connection to eminent families. Spain's class system is marked by modern Euro-American models of success; upward mobility is possible for most aspirants.
Education through at least the lowest levels of university training are today a principal vehicle of mobility, and Spain's national system of public universities expanded greatly to accommodate demand in the last third of the twentieth century. After family eminence combined with some level of inherited wealth, education is increasingly the sine qua non of social advancement.
The models of social success that are emulated are various, but all involve the trappings of material comfort and leisure as well as styles that are urbane and sometimes have global referents rather than simply Spanish ones. While Spain has a landed gentry—particularly in the southern latifundio regions where landlords are leisured employers rather than farmers themselves—the gentry itself values urbanity; increasingly these families have removed themselves to the urban settings of provincial or national capitals.
The wide base of the social pyramid is composed, as in western societies generally, of manual laborers, rural or urban workers in the lower echelons of the service sector, and petty tradesmen. The rural-urban difference is important here. Self-employed farming has always been an honored trade others that do not involve food production were once seen as more dubiousbut rusticity is not highly valued.
Therefore, Spanish farmers, along with country tradesmen, share the disadvantage of having a rustic rather than an urbane image; urbanity must be gained with some effort through education and emulative self-styling if one is to move upward in society from rural beginnings.
At the margins of Spanish society are individuals and groups whose trades involve itinerancy, proximity to animals, and the lack of a fixed base in a pueblo community. Chief in this category are Spain's Roma or Gypsies though some settle permanently and other groups who are not necessarily of foreign origin but who shun the values Spaniards cherish and follow more of the model that contemporary Spaniards associate with Gypsies.
Symbols of Social Stratification. The outward signs of social differences are embodied in the degrees to which people can display their material worth through their homes especially fashionable addresses and furnishings, dress, jewelry and other possessions, fashionable forms of leisure, and the degrees to which their behavior reflects education, urbane sophistication, and travel.
A Spanish family's ability to take a month's vacation is famously important as a sign of economic well-being and social status. Comfortable, even luxurious, modes of travel—not necessarily by one's own automobile—also enhance people's social images. Spain is a parliamentary monarchy with a bicameral legislature. Juan Carlos ascended to the throne in following Franco's death. In the constitution that would govern Spain in its new era took effect. While organizing a parliamentary democracy, it also holds the king inviolable at the pinnacle of Spain's distribution of powers.
In the king helped to maintain the constitution in force in the face of an attempted right-wing coup; this promoted the continuance of orderly governance under the constitution despite other kinds of disruptions—separatist terrorism in the Basque and Catalan areas and a variety of political scandals involving government corruption. Spain has repeatedly seen orderly elections and changes of government and ruling party.
The head of state, the prime minister, is a member of the majority party in a multiparty system. The years under the constitutional regime have brought Spain into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO and the European Community—and therefore, politically and economically closer to Europe—as well as into ever wider circles of global involvement. The major change that has come about in Spain's political organization under the modern Apartments next to a marina in Malaga.
Urban families often share bedrooms, and common rooms may be used for multiple purposes. Each of the autonomous regions has its own regional government, budget, and ministries; these replicate those at the national level. Some provinces are now separated from or grouped differently from their groupings in the historical kingdoms of traditional reference and so regional identities are in many cases being newly forged. This process has its only parallel in modern times in the original formation of the provinces themselves in Leadership and Political Officials.
Leadership is a personal achievement but can be aided by family connections. In Spain's multiparty system, shifts in party governance tend to bring about changes in officialdom at deeper levels in official entities and agencies than occur in the United States; that is, party membership is a correlate of government employment at deeper levels and in a greater number of spheres in Spain than in the United States. Spain's political culture in the post-Franco period, however, is still developing.
The most local representative of national government is the secretario local, or civil recorder, in each municipality. Municipalities might cover one or more villages, depending on local geography, and there is a recent trend toward consolidation. Alcaldes are local residents who are elected locally while the secretarios are government appointees who have undergone training and passed civil service examinations.
The secretario is the local recorder of property transactions and keeper of the population rolls that feed the nation's decennial census. Social Problems and Control. Spain's justice system serves citizens from local levels, with justices of the peace and district courts, through the level of the nation's Supreme Court and a separate Supreme Court for constitutional interpretations.
The system is governed by civil and criminal law codes.
Every Spanish locality is served by one or another police force. Urban areas have municipal police forces, while rural areas and small pueblos are covered by the Guardia Civil, or Civil Guard. The Civil Guard, which is a national police corps, also handles the policing of highway and other transit systems and deals with national security, smuggling and customs, national boundary security, and terrorism. Informal social controls are powerful forces in Spanish communities of all sizes.
In tightly clustered villages, residents are always under their neighbors' observation, and potential criticism is a strong deterrent against culturally defined misconduct and the failure to adhere to expected standards.
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Many village communities rarely if ever activate the official systems of justice and law enforcement; gossip and censure within the community, and surveillance of all by all, are often sufficient. This is true even in urban neighborhoods though not in entire large towns and cities because Spaniards are socialized to observe and comment upon one another and to establish neighborly consciousness and relationships wherever they live.
The anonymity of an American high-rise community, for example, is relatively foreign to Spain. But it is also true that larger Spanish populations resort to their police forces frequently and, today, are additionally plagued by the increased street crime and burglary that characterize modern times in much of the world.
Spain's armed forces—trained for land, sea, and air—are today engaged primarily in peacetime duties and internationally in such peacekeeping forces as those of the United Nations and in NATO actions. Spain entered the twentieth century having lost its colonies in the New World and the Pacific in the Spanish-American War or, as it is known in Spain, the War of Troubles in Morocco and deep unrest at home engaged the military from into the s.
Spain did not enter World War I. The Civil War raged from to The remainder of the twentieth century has seen years of recovery, rebuilding, the maintenance by Franco of a strong military presence at home, and—after his death—of the increasing internationalization of Spain's involvements and cooperation, military and otherwise, with the rest of western Europe.
Military officers have enjoyed high social status in Spain and, indeed, are usually drawn from the higher social classes, while the countryside and lower classes give their men to service when drafted. In many places, men who reach draft age together form recognized social groups in their hometowns. At the end of the twentieth century, although young men are still subject to the draft, military service is open to women as well, and the armed forces are becoming increasingly voluntary.
Spain's final draft lottery was held in the year Social Welfare and Change Programs Most of Spain's programs of social welfare, service, and development are in the hands of the state—including agencies of the regional governments—and of the Roman Catholic Church. Church and state are separate today, but Catholicism is the religion of the great majority. The Church itself—and Catholic agencies—have a weighty presence in organizing social welfare and in sponsoring hospitals, schools, and aid projects of all sorts.
Local, national, and international secular agencies are active as well, but none covers the spectrum of activities covered by the Church and the religious orders. The state offers social security, extensive health care, and disability benefits to most Spaniards. Actual ministration to the sick and disadvantaged, however, often falls to Church agencies or institutions staffed by religious personnel.
Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations The importance of the Catholic Church in the spectrum of nongovernmental associations is great, both at parish levels and above. When based on shared locality, these groups are found from small villages to neighborhoods of large cities; nonlocal groups are based on common occupations or other shared experiences and interests. They offer intimacy beyond the family and join individuals within or between neighborhoods and localities.
The spectrum of secular groups of this kind is extended—but by no means dominated—by such religious groups as saints' confraternities, other kinds of brotherhoods, and voluntary church-based associations dedicated to a variety of social as well as devotional ends.
In addition, large-scale regional, national, and international organizations have an increasing importance in Spanish society in the field of nongovernmental associations, an area that was once more completely dominated by Church-related organizations. The sexual division of labor varies by region and social class. In rural areas with a plow culture, men do most of the Tightly clustered towns are typical in Spain, where isolation in the countryside is often pitied.
In areas such as the humid north coast, where one finds a greater emphasis on animal husbandry and horticulture, both sexes garden and tend cattle, sheep, and goats. Women perform men's tasks when necessary but are least likely to drive a plow or tractor. Men do women's tasks when necessary—and many men like to cook—but are least likely to do mending and, above all, laundry.
Married men and women run their domestic economies and raise their children in partnership. It is traditional throughout Spain, however, that men and women pursue leisure separately, particularly in public places, where they gather with friends and neighbors of like sex and the same general age.