Global gods and local rights

Venezuelan immigrants in Barcelona

Authored by: Roger Canals

Routledge Handbook of Global Citizenship Studies

Print publication date:  June  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415519724
eBook ISBN: 9780203102015
Adobe ISBN: 9781136237966


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Since 1990, Barcelona and its surroundings have witnessed an influx of immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean. In this chapter, based on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in both America and Europe over the last ten years, 1 I aim to analyse this diaspora from a citizenship perspective, focusing on the role of Afro-American cults in the migratory processes of Venezuelans in Barcelona and in the claims they make for cultural, political, social, and legal recognition. Using this specific case, this chapter shows how religious practices can achieve a decidedly political role – both in the private and public spheres – during migratory processes. But before analysing two specific rituals carried out in Barcelona, it is important to define what Afro-American cults 2 are and how these are associated with the notions of transnationalism, diaspora, and global citizenship.

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