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REPOR: Luso-Descendant ‘Returnees’ in Portugal: Identity, Belonging and Transnationalism

Título: REPOR: Luso-Descendant ‘Returnees' in Portugal: Identity, Belonging and Transnationalism.

Investigadores: João Sardinha (investigador responsável), Nina Tiesler, David Cairns, Sofia Afonso, Irene dos Santos, António João Saraiva.

Áreas científicas: geografia.

Palavras-chave: Canadá, França, Alemanha, return migration, identity, belonging, transnationalism.

Centro/Rede de investigação: CEMRI - Universidade Aberta; ICS; ISCTE-IUL.

Duração: 2013-2015. 

Entidade/instrumento de financiamento: FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia.


Resumo: Through an examination of return experiences, therefore, the project sets out to study three lines of inquiry:

1) To scrutinize the often multiple and changing identities migrant descendants are confronted with upon returning to the ancestral homeland. Given that the positioning of such (return) migrants is often one of ‘cultural transients' setting themselves in transnational spaces (e.g. home, host and local) defined by such repertoires as the inherited and transmitted ethnic culture (nostalgic and often folkloric), society born into and society found upon return to the ancestral homeland, the research sets out to analyse the intercultural identification bricolages constructed from the cultural elements returnees negotiate with and within, from both the sending and receiving countries.
2) To study strategies of integration, aiming to analyse how these individuals go about inserting themselves socially, culturally, professionally and spiritually, into the ‘new' society. Also key to this integration analysis is that of perception and how these migrants perceive the ‘warmth of the welcome' (or lack thereof) on the host society and how this may lead to them adapting alternative strategies and abandoning original objectives and idealisations.
3) Using transnationalism as a central theoretical base of analysis, and assuming that return does not constitute the end of a migration cycle but instead is part and parcel of a circular system of social, cultural and economic relationships and exchanges between countries, cultures and societies, we set out to observe the role of transnational practices and orientations in an attempt to decipher what sort of capital is to be gained from maintaining such practices and orientations and to what extent and degree this locates the migrant in and in-between the countries in question, taking into consideration transnational capital as a resource to be weighed when needed (e.g. in times of economic downturns).

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