9211 - Claiming a Place in the Migration Story: International and Internal Migrants in an Argentine Community

The paper analyzes the traditional historical narrative of Argentina as a country of immigrants by focusing on the migration experiences of European, Latin American, and internal migrants. It focuses on the case of Comodoro Rivadavia and the oil towns that emerged around it since the discovery of oil in 1907. As it is common in other parts of the country, the historical memory of this Patagonian community revolves around the pioneering experiences of European migrants. By considering this dominant historical memory with parallel narratives of migrants from neighboring countries and from northern Argentina a more complex picture emerges. The paper discusses the ways in which these narratives can be used to examine both the multiple experiences of migration and the construction of a pluralistic history of migration and nation building in Argentina. The multiethnic community of Comodoro Rivadavia offers a unique opportunity to analyze the ways in which groups of diverse origins relate to the national migration story. The discussion draws mostly from oral history narratives.

Keywords: immigration, oral narratives, memory, Argentina

Author: Borges, Marcelo (Dickinson College, Ud States of Am / USA)


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