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Accepted paper:

(im)mobilities and Portuguese citizenship for Sephardic Jews: online ethnography


Marina Pignatelli (University of Lisbon)

Paper short abstract:

The new Portuguese nationality Law has been granting citizenship to thousands of descendants of Sephardic Jews. This paper presents the results of an online ethnography conducted in the contemporary social media webpages created by the Brazilians who seek Portuguese Nationality under that law.

Paper long abstract:

Since 2015, an amendment to Portugal's Law on Nationality allows descendants of Portuguese Jews who were expelled in the Portuguese Inquisition to become citizens if they 'belong to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin with ties to Portugal.' From that year, over thirty thousand people who were able to prove that they were descended from Portuguese Jews, have acquired Portuguese citizenship, some immigrated to Portugal and several others are still in the process of applying for naturalization. Among these applicants, the Brazilians naturally stand out among other countries in terms of the creation of information exchange networks in Portuguese language, concerning the process of acquiring the Portuguese citizenship. What characterizes these applicants from Brazil? What kind of information, concerns and support are they seeking or sharing? What are their expectations regarding the Portuguese citizenship and reactions when they acquire it? Do they intend to migrate to Portugal? The study aims to stress these questions, aiming to shed light on the applicantĀ“s mindsets who use the social media webpages, analysing the narratives / messages they produce, through an online ethnography.

panel P181
Religion, (im)mobilities and citizenship in the face of populism