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Belonging out of Context: the Intersection of Place, Networks and Ethnic Identity among Retired British Migrants Living in the Costa Blanca

Author(s): Anya AHMED

Journal: Journal of Identity and Migration Studies
ISSN 1843-5610

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 2;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: retirement migration | belonging | place | networks | ethnic identity | language | narrative

Intra-European migration is now a well-documented phenomenon among older people and for UK retirees, Spain is the most popular choice. ‘Belonging’ is particularly important when attempting to understand experiences of migration since often people become aware that they need to belong precisely when they realise that they do not. However, although belonging is a recurrent theme in identity and migration discourse it is rarely defined. This paper explores the concept of belonging in relation to the experiences of a group of retired women living in the Costa Blanca in Spain and considers its multiple and overlapping representations. The myriad forms of belonging that these ‘lifestyle migrants’ construct through narrative in relation to place, networks and ethnic identity and the central intersecting role of language are considered and discussed.
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