11-12 / 2000
Jernej Mlekuž

The role of the ‘original’ area in the definition of nationality: the case of nine ‘Slovene’ emigrants and their descendants living in Mendoza, Argentina

The connection of the group identity of a social group with the place in which it lives isformed through social relations and does not derive from the place itself. Emigrants and their descendants are constantly tom between the relations they have with the majority society and their relations within the emigrant community and the family; and thus they are constantly torn between the ‘original’ homeland and the new one. Attachment or affiliation to the ‘original’ area is closely linked to affiliation to an ‘original’ culture or ‘original’ ethnic identity, although the relationship is not always linear. It is usually difficultor impossible to differentiate between the milieu of place and culture, between feelings of territorial bonds or belonging and ethnic or national awareness.