Narratives of identity among German-Argentinean women in Buenos Aires
Cristian Alvarado Leyton
Drawing on fieldwork in Buenos Aires, my paper addresses the narratives of cultural belonging, origin and losses of second generation German-Argentinean women of various ages. Although these women share certain social circumstances - like being able to speak German in an immigrant society, having an esteemed cultural background and belonging to the middle-class which enables them to travel regularly to Germany -, their narratives of identity differ significantly. In their narratives, these women blend varyingly naturalizing ideas of descent and race with culturalizing topics fed by the experience of being different from their immigrating ancestors. Moreover, the narratives change due to specific experiences, family histories and historical situations. An example is the crisis in 2001, which triggered radical doubts about their identity in terms of belonging, leading to one woman describing herself as "a no-roots". Finally, in dealing with their ambiguous narratives the question of adequate ethnographic representation arises.