Accepted Paper:

The "Peruvian Association of Siena": negotiation between different cultural identities and strategies of incorporation within the local community  


Margherita Baldisserri (University of Siena)

Paper short abstract:

The article describes the festivals organized by the “Peruvian Association of Siena” in order to highlight the processes of negotiation between different cultural representations and practices which are used as means to redefine Peruvian migrant identity and as resources to achieve public visibility and recognition within the territory of residence

Paper long abstract:

The associations created by Peruvian migrants in Italy to promote socio-cultural, religious and sporting activities partly reflect the clubs created by rural migrants in Lima. The article describes the process of creation and the following developments of the "Peruvian Association of Siena" in order to interpret the cultural dimension expressed by the association and to reveal its role at a local level. The activities of the association mainly aim at spreading the knowledge of Peruvian culture and at facilitating Peruvian migrants' settlement in receiving society. The ethnographic description of the festival organized every year to celebrate the anniversary of Peruvian independence and the analysis of interviews of association members show the processes of negotiation and hybridization occurring between different cultural representations and practices. Most Peruvian migrants in Italy have an Andean cultural background either because they have experienced both internal and international migrations, or because they are the descendants of internal immigrants. On the other hand, a wider Latino identity has taken shape in the process of redefinition of migrants' identity between translocal and transnational social fields. Members of the association use both Andean and Latino cultures as means to declare their identity as unitary and as socio-political resources to achieve public visibility as well as recognition within the territory of residence. Finally, the association plays a vital role in the formation of social networks which, increasing the opportunities of incorporation in the receiving context, could lead to concrete experiences of citizenship

Panel W088
Migrant associations in Europe: simultaneous incorporation, everyday cosmopolitanisms and actually existing citizenship