‘Miki-le-toss ou comment repérer un guech en quelques leçons’: l’identité ethnique ‘tos’ en France à travers les blogs de jeunes lusodescendants

Martine Fernandes


Abstract

In this article, I analyze the ‘tos’ ethnic identity, as expressed in blogs written by French-Portuguese teenagers in France, also called ‘lusodescendants,’ who are the children of Portuguese residents. Starting in the eighties, the reclaiming of this ethnic identity has been reinforced by Portugal’s entry in the European Union in 1986, the institutionalization of links between the lusodescendants and Portugal, and France’s recent opening to its migrant populations. Influenced by the Chicano cultural movement, the ‘tos’ movement shares some of its foundational features: a myth of origin, a privileging of unity, and a conservative notion of family. Despite this movement’s nationalist tendencies, I argue that it does not threaten this youth’s integration to France or to Europe, especially since lusodescendants, who are often Portuguese and French nationals, feel ‘twice European.’ In their case, European identity, to which they never refer in the blogs, is a mere sum of national identities. If a common European identity were needed, it should not be in the form of assimilationist policies replacing national cultures by a ‘European culture.’ Indeed, most European countries share a history of dictatorships and nationalisms, i.e. of official cultures being forced onto people. This dictatorial and nationalist past is directly responsible for the Portuguese diaspora and the lusodescendants’ ethnic identity claims today.

Keywords

Immigration; Portuguese; France; Weblogs; Ethnic Identity

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