Dynamics of Subalternity: Diasporic Masculinities and Racialized Otherness
American Sociological Association Annual Meeting 2015
Estados Unidos da América
In different historical contexts it is important to examine the ways in which diasporic and transnational relations are key processes of societal change. Drawing on a qualitative research on immigrant men in Portugal, we aim at disentangling the ways in which identities are constructed in a gendered manner, with differences pertaining to specific diasporic communities (Brazilians, Cape Verdeans and Mozambicans), hailing from diverse Portuguese colonial and post-colonial histories. For a deeper understanding of the overall consequences of migration and transnationalism, a gender perspective, often neglected when tackling cultural encounters, is mandatory. For immigrant men, the experience of otherness, hibridity and social inclusion is marked, in most cases, by subalternity. This subordinate condition is reinforced by racialized/ethnic otherness vis-à-vis the dominance of whiteness. The ways of dealing with discrimination lead to the construction of identities, along national lines of origin, in a highly gendered form. European men are strongly devaluated and viewed as feminine and emasculated. Simultaneously, European women tend to be perceived as strongly masculinized. Conversely, immigrant men tend to stress self-definitions that prioritize to sexuality and bodily performances as to compensate for the lack of other capitals of masculinity (financial and public power). However, these strategies can be paradoxical. On the one hand, there is a reinforcement of a communitarist sense of belonging that ultimately leads to ghettoization. On the other, there are also aspirational processes operating through the mimicry of the dominant other, even if these are often conflicting and contradictory.
Masculinity, hegemony, subordination, otherness, migrant men, post-colonialism, modernity, power
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