Media Representations and Second-Generation Discourses: The Nuanced Identities of Portuguese Descendants in France

José Ricardo Pinto Carvalheiro


Abstract. Media images concerning migration, ethnic groups, and culture continuously provide points of symbolic negotiation for second-generation immigrant descendants. Qualitative research shows that media can, on the one hand, offer strategies for the valorization of Portuguese descendants in French society, and on the other, impose constraints on discourses about integra­tion and difference. Articulating media representations with their own social positions and experiences, young adults of Portuguese descent negotiate their identities in the midst of a variety of multicultural components that may range from Brazilian music, to the French national soccer team, to American television programs, to elements of Arab culture, this beyond the presence of their own Portuguese heritage. Balancing between symbolic resources and limits, Portuguese descendants thus tend to construct nuanced identities that arise in the very discursive features they use to speak about themselves and that others use to speak about them. This article uses as its base of analysis the role of French media when it comes to influencing the construction of identity among Portuguese descendants.


Identity, media, Portuguese, France

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