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Cadernos de Estudos Africanos

Print version ISSN 1645-3794


MOURAO, Ana Luísa. “The Cape Verdean Race”: Identity-building in a suburban council estate“A raça cabo-verdiana”: Construções identitárias num bairro de realojamento suburbano. Cadernos de Estudos Africanos [online]. 2012, n.24, pp.45-72. ISSN 1645-3794.

This article explores local articulations of identity among Cape Verdean descendants in a council estate near Lisbon. The argument addresses their notions of ‘Cape Verdeanness’ and ‘Africanness’, analysing how these are built and sustained in opposition to the “Portuguese”. It begins by pinpointing weak transnational (material and symbolic) ties with Cape Verde, moving to highlight widespread racism in Portugal’s political, media and social responses to African immigrants. Finally, it examines Cape Verdeans’ identity constructions, arguing that the categories, tacit meanings and group attributes they forge speak less of feelings of belonging to Cape Verde than of a “looping effect” whereby discursive elements of racism and segregation in Portuguese society are appropriated and reworked by the subjects themselves.

Keywords : Cape Verdeans; second generation; identity; racism; opposition; council estate.

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