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Seixas, Xosé M. Núñez (2016): Migrant associations: the Spanish transatlantic experience, 1870-1970. In: Social History, Vol. 41, No. 2: pp. 136-154

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This article offers some historiographical, theoretical and methodological reflections on Spanish migrant associationism in several countries (mainly, Latin America) during the period of mass migration that began in the 1870s and continued until the 1970s, which might also be extrapolated to other European cases. The discussion starts with a review of the literature on migrant associations in Iberian migration studies. Some of the limitations inherent in migrant associations as objects of study are then considered and problem areas that remain relatively unexplored are highlighted alongside a comparison with those approaches that are used in the analysis of other European immigrant groups in the USA and Latin America. Finally the article discusses the interaction of migrant elites, ordinary immigrants' necessities and the influence of the host societies. The conclusions insist on the fact that associationism can offer an informative kaleidoscope through which to examine immigrant collectives, not just organized communities. Appropriate use of the sources produced by associations can shed light on settlement patterns, socio-professional composition, the social origin of elites, rootedness or image in the host country and the comparative history of migration.

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