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Quemando el Parquet: Cabecitas Negras, Urban Legends and abjection. The Construction of Regional Identity in an Argentine Working Class Community

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Author: James, Danny
In the late 1930s a new wave of migrants left the parajes of the departments of Loreto and Atamisqui for the packing houses of Berisso driven out of their homes by an epic drought that lasted almost two years. They arrived in a working class community that was one of Argentina’s largest meat packing centers, whose two packing houses would at the height of the Second World War employ almost 20,000 workers. The social and cultural landscape of this community was one dominated by European immigrants who had been arriving since the beginning of the century from all over Europe and the old Ottoman Empire. They found work in the frigoríficos and created and nurtured a dense network of cultural associations known locally as the “colectividades”. This network would continue to dominate Berisso’s social and cultural space. It is the complex interaction between these new migrants – the santiagueños – and the established community which is addressed in this paper.
This paper is part of the Latin American Studies Working Paper Series and will be presented on March 29 at SFU Vancouver.Attached to this record is a coda to the paper entitled Coda to “Quemando el parquet”: the concept of abjection and its usefulness for understanding santiagueño migrants. The coda explains the use of the concept of abjection in the original paper and its usefulness in understanding santiagueño migrants.
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