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Latin American migrants and the Larrikin principles: reflections on the convergence of cultural values

7 Jun 2014

This paper explores how Latin American migrants see the values attached to their identities and cultures and the convergence or divergence with others' cultural values in the Australian context.


What Latin American migrants regard as common sense and cultural logic are shaped by the processes by which language and cultural are learned, used and changed in everyday life in their countries of origin. In the 'new' society, these complexities are ignored and imagined in simplistic ways represented by stereoptyped "surface culture". In this paper, I analyse how Latin American migrants see the values attached to their cultures and native languages, and their convergence or divergence with othesrs' cultural values within the Australian context. I emphasize the relevance of migrants' culture as a resource that multicultural Australian organisations have, even if it is not recognised. As a Mexican migrant in Australia, I reflect on my own experience to ask how our native cultures shape our behaviours as members of organisations in which we work, socialise, negotiate our cultural values and identities. Through auteothnography, I explore the process of cultural transformation under migration situations by referring to two interrelated cultural levels, "surface culture" and "deep culture", as central to understanding the complexities of cultural imaginings. Through this distinction I explore paradoxical feelings that emerge during the process of involvement in the migrants' new environment.

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