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Dürr, Eveline (2011): To Belong in Aotearoa New Zealand: Latin American Migrant Experiences in Multicultural Auckland. In: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Vol. 37, No. 3: pp. 503-519

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In this paper, I give voice to Latin Americans' ideas about belonging in Aotearoa New Zealand society. As a small, low-profile migrant community in Auckland, their self-positioning in the urban social matrix is especially interesting because of New Zealand's official policy as a bicultural nation, aspiring to an equal partnership between indigenous Maori and Pakeha (European New Zealanders). This study is situated in the context of transnational migration research which stresses the potential for migrants to use transnational linkages to negotiate `belonging' in the receiving society. Due to New Zealand's revised immigration laws in the late 1980s, the cultural composition of Auckland has changed enormously in the last decades. Increasing non-white immigration has challenged New Zealand's national identity as a bicultural, but predominantly white, society in the South Pacific. However, it is unclear where other ethnic groups are situated in this bicultural framework. Based on fieldwork and discursive accounts, I scrutinise Latin American migrants' understanding of biculturalism in a multicultural context. I am particularly interested in their self-positioning in the wider social matrix and in the contested forms of (self-)inclusion and exclusion. I situate these practices in migrants' biographies as they are shaped by political ideas, class and economic opportunities. I argue that these conditions are key in migrants' perceptions of `belonging' and self-positioning in the urban ambit.

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