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Malleable Identities: Placing the Garínagu in New Orleans

From: Journal of Latin American Geography
Volume 11, Number 2, 2012
pp. 121-144 | 10.1353/lag.2012.0049



The multiplicity of Garifuna identity gives the Garínagu the flexibility to negotiate and shift their identity between different ethnic, racial, and national categories. Drawing on in-depth interviews, focus groups, and participant observation with Garifuna transmigrants in post-Katrina New Orleans, this research illustrates the important role a receiving community plays in how the Garínagu frame their identity. Scholarly research on the Garifuna community in New York City depicts a general identification with a global racial Blackness. In New Orleans, however, several factors sway Garifuna transmigrants to identify with the metropolitan area's Latino population and emphasize their Honduran nationality. Thus, this study underscores the importance of place-specific research that focuses on the daily lives and experiences of contemporary immigrants.


La multiplicidad de la identidad Garifuna proporciona al Garínagu la flexibilidad para negociar y cambiar su identidad entre categorías étnicas, raciales y nacionales diferentes. Usando entrevistas a fondo, grupos de muestra y observación participante con Garifuna transmigrantes en Nueva Orleans post-Katrina, esta investigación ilustra el importante papel que una comunidad receptora juega en el enmarque de la identidad de los Garínagu. La investigación de académicos en la comunidad Garifuna en la ciudad de Nueva York, representa una identificación general con una oscuridad racial global. En Nueva Orleans, sin embargo, varios factores influyen transmigrantes Garifunas para identificarse con la población latina del área metropolitana, y enfatizar su nacionalidad hondureña. Así, este estudio subraya la importancia de la investigación específica del lugar donde se experimentan la vida diaria y experiencias de los inmigrantes contemporáneos.

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