Ties that (Un)bind? The Case of Latin Americans in Portugal and Spain

  • Julia ALVES BRASIL University of Minho (Portugal)
  • Rosa CABECINHAS University of Minho (Portugal)
Keywords: migration, Latin America, colonial past, decolonial thinking, racism, intergroup relations, social psychology

Abstract

Latin American migration to Portugal and Spain is usually facilitated by the historical and cultural ties that bind Latin American and Iberian countries. Nevertheless, these bonds might also function as a means of reinforcing power asymmetries and social hierarchies. Based on Decolonial Thinking and on theories of Social Psychology, this study aimed at analysing the dual role of these ties, both as factors of approximation and as instruments of domination and violence. Therefore, we conducted individual interviews with 23 Latin Americans (from Brazil, Chile and Mexico), aged between 18 and 49 years old, who migrated to Portugal or Spain. Data were analysed through Thematic Analysis. The results allowed us to discuss: the use of language as an instrument of domination; the existence of negative stereotypes regarding Latin America(ns) and the process of essentialization of the “Other”; and how Latin Americans are sometimes seen as a preferred type of migrant and at other times as being eternal foreigners. We hope this study serves as an incentive for future reflections on how the different forms of coloniality might still shape present-day intergroup relations among countries with a shared colonial past.

Author Biographies

Julia ALVES BRASIL, University of Minho (Portugal)

PhD in Cultural Studies at University of Minho/Portugal. Master and Bachelor degrees in Psychology at Federal University of Espirito Santo (UFES)/Brazil. Collaborator researcher at Communication and Society Research Centre (CECS)/University of Minho. Postdoctoral researcher in Social Psychology at UFES

Rosa CABECINHAS, University of Minho (Portugal)

PhD in Social Psychology of Communication. She is Associate Professor at the Social Sciences Institute of University of Minho, researcher at the Communication and Society Research Centre, and Head of the Cultural Studies Doctoral Program

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Published
2018-12-31