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Migration, invisibility and belonging : a case study of Latin American families in the UK

Rosa , Mas Giralt (2011) Migration, invisibility and belonging : a case study of Latin American families in the UK. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Despite the salient role that ways of seeing and categorizing difference have acquired for the ordinary integration framework of contemporary Britain, research on how sparse immigrant populations and un/marked migrants and ethnic minorities negotiate these issues remains underdeveloped. This thesis contributes to illuminating the intersections between socio-cultural and embodied in/visibility and migrants' and their young descendants' experiences of incorporation by focusing on the case of Latin Americans in the north of England. The research comprised interviews with stake holders and other informants and a multiple case study with ten Latin American and Latino-British families in the Yorkshire and Greater Manchester regions. The fieldwork with the families included all the household members over 8 years of age (totalling 30 participants) and combined a range of person-centred qualitative methods (text and visually based), involving multiple individual and group research encounters. The thesis argues that the socio-cultural invisibility of this population in the north of the country is eo-produced and sustained by a lack of official attention and soft Latin American/Latino panethnic identifications. Also significant here is the fraught relationship between these migrants and the system of ethno-cultural recognition which operates in their host society. Invisibility and visibility emerge as signifiers of sameness and difference through the everyday embodied experiences of the adult and young participants. These are negotiated with 'passing' and 'coming out' strategies aimed at acquiring mainstream membership, avoiding enforced racialization (othering) or re-defining notions of commonality based on principles of cultural diversity. Nonetheless, conditions of socio-cultural invisibility constrain the extent to which both adults and young people can reproduce forms of Latin Americanism locally, displacing tasks of intergenerational cultural transmission to the transnational sphere of the extended family. Thus, young participants display narratives of potential delayed belonging to their inherited homelands in order to legitimate their claims to their locally uncommon cultural background.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.550853
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2014 12:20
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2014 12:20
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5408

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