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Spatial identity in Veronis, L. (2007) - Strategic spatial essentialism

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  1. Research question
  2. Main argument
  3. Summary 1(strategic spatial essentialism)
  4. Summary ii (a global sense of place)
  5. Critical analysis of the reading
  6. Strength
  7. Weakness
  8. Conclusion

In her literature review, she focuses on anti-essentializing approaches that distinct groups use to define a common space such as diaspora and hybridity, and border crossing notions especially transnationalism. The African Americans chose the margin of the society as a place where they made a home. The margin became a community of resistance constructed by the groups shared ethnicity and experience as "othering." Though, the Latin Americans have not been able to create a distinct urban space, like other immigrants they rely on essentializing and territorialized processes to forge a common identity and lay a claim to citizenship. Nevertheless, the margin becomes a space of radical openness or "thirdspace" of political choice. The nascent barrio latino and casa will develop into a third space for Latin Americans to define their identity, community and citizenship (Veronis, 2007, p.457).

Moreover, she analysis the difficulty of uniting all Latin Americans into one community or organization. They originated from different countries, came to Canada at diverse times and for various distinct reasons. Also, the Canadian government assumes that all Latin Americans have similar backgrounds and challenges, and imagine that they can be organized to one essentializing group. The state attempts to manage diversity by creating artificial and homogenized groups and giving them labels such as "Spanish Speaking."

[...] Latin Americans are unable to be united into a specific community (casa) that will give them a sense of place. They are found in different parts of Toronto where they live as individuals with a common heritage or similar backgrounds in their country of birth. Hence, their "place" becomes their immediate locality or the opportunities they get to interact with other Latin Americans in the city. Lastly, the Latin Americans will have to overcome their differences and subjectivities in order to have their place in Canada. [...]


[...] Spatial identity in Veronis, L. (2007) - Strategic spatial essentialism Outline I. Research question II. Main argument III. Summary 1(strategic spatial essentialism) IV. Summary ii global sense of place) V. Critical analysis of the reading VI. Strength VII. Weakness What is the research question? Why do new immigrant groups today (re)construct a collective identity through place? What methods are employed? [...]


[...] She believes that the development of a barrio latino and a casa are strategies of spatial essentialism to create a local collective identity for the immigrants and help them lay claims to belonging in the wider Canadian society. As a result, they will have a "thirdspace of political choice." Weakness The author is unable to define clearly whether the imagined quality of barrio latino and casa are strategically essentializing or have transformed into "thirdspace." She claims that the Latin Americans' territoriality in Toronto remains "radically open." This is notwithstanding the fact that different Latin American groups usually strive to forge a common identity based on their origin, for example, Mexicans, Ecuadorians and Chilean communities. [...]


[...] One, political refugees from South America in the 1970s and Central America in the 1980. Two, refugee claimants, family reunification cases and professionals in the mid- 1990s. Different motivation, time and circumstances have made the group economically, socially and politically diverse. They are unable to create a common front to voice their demands. Instead, they have numerous organizations and community projects with similar goals based on nationality. For instance, the Mexican, Salvadoran and Ecuadorian groups have different professional associations. The differences are also manifested spatially, since they have no common residences in the city but live individually throughout the city of Toronto. [...]

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