Nortinos' Fugue: the re-making of social status in the migration context

Silvia Torezani

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] Community formation has been a topic largely explored in relation to cultural performance and everyday practice in the anthropology of migration. Attention to the relevance of social status in the process of building ethnic/migrant community has been more elusive. It is the latter that constitutes the focus of my thesis. More precisely, I seek to unveil how an interpretation of a collective past can be used as an instance for the crafting and aesthetic correction of the present. My thesis contributes to debates on ethnic identity and performance, and ethnic community and multiculturalism in Australia. I investigate the structural and community re-making of perceived social 'privilege' as located within a group of working class migrants, who arrived in Western Australia from northern Chile's copper mining region in the 1980s under the Special Humanitarian Program. Known as the Nortinos, these migrants offer an ethnographic entry into the analysis of migrant community formation through cultural performance. Central to how members of this cohort express their identity is the notion of social class. During my two years of ethnographic fieldwork (2001-2003) among the Nortinos, I became curious about their self-identification based on their pre-migration occupation, as miners. It was their recurrent identification as formerly 'privileged' and later 'dismissed' copper miners that attracted my attention.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011

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