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PhD, University of Toronto Positioning Portuguese-Canadian youth as inheritors of & investors in contested ethnolinguistic markets:

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Presentation on theme: "PhD, University of Toronto Positioning Portuguese-Canadian youth as inheritors of & investors in contested ethnolinguistic markets:"— Presentation transcript:

1 PhD, University of Toronto Positioning Portuguese-Canadian youth as inheritors of & investors in contested ethnolinguistic markets: Azorean & (Mainland) Portuguese diasporas 15.09.11 16 th Int’l Metropolis

2 Presentation objectives 1. To problematize the dominant and essentialist discourses of nationalism, multiculturalism & diaspora by looking at the Portuguese community in Toronto as a market. 2. To question how the case of the Azores and the Azorean diaspora complicates that market, and how their initiatives can be see as examples of post-nationalism (Heller 2011). 2

3 PhD research project  Data drawn from a two-year qualitative, ethnographic sociolinguistic study  Bourdieu (1977, 1991): habitus, legitimacy, the economics of linguistic exchanges, symbolic and material capital, language as an instrument of power  Giddens (1986): social structuration  Heller (2002): critical ethnographic sociolinguistics  Primary research methods:  participant observation and interviews  PhD thesis objective:  to explore the social and linguistic interactions of six Portuguese- Canadian youth from Toronto (and up to five members of their social networks) in order to understand how and why they invest in portugueseness (language, culture, identity) or not. 3

4 Little Portugal ≈ Little Açores + + ≈ Portuguese Ethnic Origin (StatsCan, 2006) Unofficial est. Census Canada: 500,000 410,850 Toronto: 200,000 188,110 Toronto: ≈ 70% Azorean, 30% Mainlander How is the power within the Portuguese-Canadian community divided? Language & identity are about markets and the unequal positioning of social actors competing for limited resources. 4

5 Mapping & market-ing multicultural Toronto 5 A provincial politician’s mapping of multicultural markets in Toronto (close-up) Ruprecht, T. (2001:inside cover). Toronto’s many faces. Kingston: Quarry Press.

6 Part of Portugal’s diasporic market 6 Source: Teixeira (1994:4) in Cummins & Lopes (1994).

7 Nationalist symbols Car flag for the World Cup of soccer competition 7

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10 Post-nationalism?  Although the nation-state way of organizing people remains, there are ways around the official nation-state status in order to participate in the globalized new economy (Heller 2011).  In this context, diasporas can be mobilized as springboards to globalization and as spaces for the construction of global or supranational identities that challenge the hegemonic discourses of language, identity, and the nation-state. 10

11 Azores Day & Portugal Day 11 (June 2009)

12 Mobilization of Azorean diaspora President of the Regional Government of the Azores with the Premier of Ontario, celebrating the Azorean regional holiday (2009) 12

13 Doing it for the Holy Spirit?  Quote from Azores Day, state gala dinner in Toronto, 2009  Speech by the President of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores (in 2009), Francisco Manuel Coelho Lopes Cabral:  “[…] a nossa terra é enorme porque tem um tapete de mar a uni-la […] É por isso que nós estamos hoje, aqui, em Toronto, na nossa terra. Sem qualquer vontade de império, que não seja o do Espírito Santo. Sem qualquer arma de arremesso, para além do abraço do reecontro.”  “[...] our land is enormous because it has a carpet of ocean uniting it [...] That is why we are here today, in Toronto, in our land. Without any imperialist desires, apart from that of the Holy Spirit. Without any weapon to throw, apart from a reuniting hug.”  13

14 United…but also different  Speech by the President of the Government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, Carlos César:  “[…] Estamos aqui, hoje […] em Toronto, para dizer a todos os Açorianos, residents no Canadá ou nas nossas ilhas, tal como aos espalhados pelo Mundo que, independentement da sua ventura, nos sentimos irmãos enfileirados na mesma andança, e que, unidos, nos podemos ajudar; unidos, nós, os mesmos, podemos ser mais, por que unidos temos feito muito melhor do que cogitávamos. É isso que se pede e se exalta no Dia dos Açores – aclamando as semelhanças sem olvidarmos o valor democrático e impulsionador das diferenças de que também todos somos feitos.”  “[...] We are here, today [...] in Toronto, to tell all Azoreans, residing in Canada or in our islands, as well as all those scattered throughout the world who, independent of their happiness, we feel like brothers aligned on the same track, and that, united, we can help each other; united, we can be more, because united we have done much better than we would have thought. This is what we ask for and what we exalt on Azores Day – applauding our similarities without forgetting the democratic and stimulating value of differences that also make up each one of us.” 14

15 Mobilization of Azorean diaspora “The Azores are all of us / We all make up the Azores” 15

16 “Autonomy kit” 16

17 “Language kit”: Ao colo da língua portuguesa 17 Source:

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21 Future research 21 How do Portuguese nationalist and Azorean regionalist diasporic projects co-exist? Are there any tensions? Who benefits from these projects? Where does the money come from?

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