Identity Narratives and Social Memory: the (re)making of lusophony in intercultural contexts

Ref.: PTDC/CCI-COM/105100/2008

The project aims at analysing the (re)construction of lusophone identities through online and offline social interactions among Portuguese language speakers. How do globalization and the advancements in the information and communication technologies reconfigure the ‘lusophone’ narratives? And how do they reconfigure migratory experiences? What are the various meanings of lusophony and how are they constructed? How do such meanings contribute to shaping present relationships among individuals from the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP)? How are the meanings of lusophony shaped by one’s social position (in terms of nationality, ethnicity, generation, gender) and Diaspora experiences?

As lusophone geography comprehends four continents, it makes particularly difficult the production of systematic studies on how this ‘imagined community’ defines itself and on how others define it. Recent developments in internet dissemination especially within some CPLP countries (though rates are still low by Western standards) set the conditions for conducting this research. To study the meanings of lusophony is therefore an opportunity to give ‘voice’ to traditionally silenced groups and to learn about the multiple ‘versions’ about the history connecting those countries. In light of this, the project envisages to understand and discuss the social representations that frame both the daily life of those who live and interact in the ‘lusophone space’, and the narratives that give sense to this ‘community’.

The project comprises four methodological axis: analyses of ‘virtual’ narratives in the ‘lusophone’ cyberspace; analyses of oral narratives of people with migration experiences using auto-biographic semi-structured interviews; analyses of identity negotiations in cross-cultural contexts using focus groups; analyses of the interplay among identity patterns, mediated social networks and social memory, through a cross-cultural survey to be conducted in three countries: Brazil, Mozambique and Portugal.