Rethinking resentment: political memory and identity in Australia's Salvadoran community

Mason, Robert (2010) Rethinking resentment: political memory and identity in Australia's Salvadoran community. In: Migrant Security 2010: Citizenship and Social Inclusion in a Transnational Era, 15-16 July 2010, Toowoomba, Australia.

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The paper questions how former refugees from El Salvador have settled in Australia, and particularly in metropolitan Queensland. It is positioned at the intersection of history and citizenship studies, and addresses the lack of research into the effects of remembered social upheaval on migrants' settlement in Australia. The paper uses qualitative data from interviews and online blogs to interrogate the nature of migrants' engagement with El Salvador, and, significantly, the impact on their conceptualisation of Australian liberal democratic values and civic society.

The community remains highly politicised, and is connected with both local and global contacts. Since fleeing El Salvador's civil war in the 1980s, Australia's Salvadoran community has developed in a markedly different manner to the much larger communities in the United States. Salvadorans in Australia use transcultural rhetoric to justify their engagement with Australian politics and multiculturalism. Democratisation in El Salvador has had a profound impact on Australian Salvadorans' identity, with key implications for their engagement in multiple civic societies. Whilst their ongoing contact with home communities in El Salvador has declined, there has been a re-assertion of the transnational Hispanic identity of the radical Left, which draws on migrants' pre-migration memories of social conflict.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: USQ publication.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Humanities and International Studies
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2010 00:07
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2015 05:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: migrants; refugees; migrant settlement
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1603 Demography > 160303 Migration
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210308 Latin American History
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160602 Citizenship
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940201 Civics and Citizenship

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