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Accepted Paper:

Creolisation, conviviality and conflict resolution: the racialized identities of migrant laborers from the Azores, Cabo Verde, Madeira and Portugal in New England  

Author:

Miguel Moniz (ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)

Paper short abstract:

Conflict must resolve for conviviality to occur. The paper explores associativism and negotiations over racialized identities and power inequalities among migrant laborers (Azores, Madeira, Cabo Verde & Portugal) in New England that yet structure creolisation, cosmopolitanism and local cooperation.

Paper long abstract:

Guided by the objectives of the panel and bibliography on cosmopolitanism and creolisation, this paper explores the building of collective and cooperative communities that recognize broad definitions of belonging and stake-holding across inter-sectional, super diverse and ultimately fluid identities. Case examples of conflict and cooperation are drawn from early 1900s labor mobility and century-long settlement of migrants from the Azores, Madeira, Cabo Verde and Portugal to work in industrial mills and on local and industrial farms throughout southeastern New England. Working as low-level operatives, seasonal field-workers and in domestic service, these migrant workers' identities were racialized as non-white by scientists, in popular discourse, and in governmental policy (including the so-called "black" and "white" Portuguese categories)—part of power inequalities structuring their position at the lowest levels of labor hierarchies and quashing their civic participation rights.

Recognizing that conflict must be resolved for conviviality to take place, this paper examines these historical moments of conflict around definitions of their racialized identities in New England: in segregated school policy; the Americanization movement and the complexity of migrant and non-migrant social and civic association activities that shaped and continue to shape racial identities and drive cooperative efforts; and how local patronage relations with wealthy and well-connected local elites played out in social mobility strategies and efforts to narrate both exclusionary and broader definitions of racial identities. The paper will explore how these negotiations over racialized identities and power inequalities continues to structure creolisation, cosmopolitanism and cooperation in the region.

Panel P061
Creolisation and conviviality