The Social Construction of Belonging in the Life of Haitian Migrants in Brazil: The Case of Alain and His Family

Friday, 20 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
In my paper, I will discuss the case study of a family that migrated from Haiti to Brazil. I will focus on the biographical case reconstruction of the older son, I call him Alain, whose dislocation process from the Haitian countryside to Southern Brazil came with changing positions in various social figurations. The case represents a type in my sample of Haitian migrants where the attachment to religious and ethno-national constructions of belonging increased during the process of migration. These belongings played an important role in determining Alain’s recurrent attempts to return to Haiti in order to fulfill a religious prophecy about his life.

This study is a part of my PhD thesis on the life stories of migrants in Brazil and their constructions of belonging. It is the continuation of the research initiated during my Master degree in Social Sciences. It is theoretically grounded in the Sociology of Knowledge (Peter L. Berger / Thomas Luckmann) and Figurational Sociology (Norbert Elias). With the help of biographical case reconstructions (after Gabriele Rosenthal), I investigate the life history and life story of migrants within the social figurations of their families and different milieus, in different local and national settings.