In Europe, integration is a concept imbued with normative and assimilative associations, which has contributed to the stigmatization of migrants. In this presentation, however, I go beyond such associations and depart from an understanding of ‘integration’ in the broad sense of the term, namely as dynamic two-way processes of interaction and social change among individuals and institutions across different domains and in relation to identity and power.
In my presentation, I will discuss processes of social integration characteristic of the recent Portuguese migration to the former colonies of Angola and Mozambique. I will focus on images of the relationship between the ex-colonizer and the ex-colonized in the capitals of Luanda and Maputo, and on how these representations vary in significant ways between the two cities. In discussing these images, I will draw upon the voices of Portuguese migrants as well as Angolans and Mozambicans, and centre on the concepts of ‘hybridity’ and ‘hegemony’ as these terms are defined and used within postcolonial literature. By tilting the frame and turning the attention to European migrants in underresearched destinations, I hope to challenge the conventional take on integration and infuse some fresh life into the concept.