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Accepted Paper:

The figure of the white male lover : subjectivities and masculinities in Portuguese work migration to Angola  
Carolina Valente Cardoso (School of Global Studies GU)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on the case of Portuguese migrant workers to Angola, this paper delves into the figure of the Portuguese male engaged in an intimate relationship with an Angolan woman to investigate the entanglements of whiteness(es) and masculinity(ies) as framed by dynamics of North-South mobility

Paper long abstract:

Over the last decade (circa 2008-2015), impelled by the concomitant conjunctures of financial crisis in Europe and booming economy in Angola, a large amount of Portuguese workers migrated to the former African colony (estimations go as high as 150 thousand).

During my ethnographic fieldwork carried out from August 2015 to February 2016 among some of these mobile subjects settled in the Angolan city of Benguela, I realised that while intimate relationships established between migrants and hosts were profuse and diverse, one type among them gathered particular social attention by the community: the one composed by middle-aged Portuguese males and (more often that not) younger Angolan women.

In this paper I explore the ways in which these intimate relations were extracted from the private sphere and were socially inscribed into a local discourse framing the new Portuguese presence in Angola. Furthermore, convoking to this exploration the significant 'absent-presents' of such pairs — i.e. Portuguese women and Angolan men — and building on relevant literature on the topic, I suggest that they constitute a key element to understand the mutual effects of mobility and masculinity(ies).

Finally, interrogating what 'race', nationality, economic class and age do to the social (re)construction of what it means "to be a man" in this particular setting, the paper advances the hypothesis of reading the migration to Angola as sort of rescue for fragile white/Portuguese masculinities.

Panel P164
Intimacy in the Time of Globalization: Anthropology Exploring the Intersection of Love, Sexuality and Mobility
  Session 1 Wednesday 22 July, 2020, -