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ERIC Number: EJ968621
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1367-6261
Being "An Authentic Alteno": Young People in a Bolivian Andean City
Calestani, Melania
Journal of Youth Studies, v15 n4 p541-555 2012
What does it mean to be young in El Alto, a Bolivian shantytown? Based on ethnographic research, this article looks at cultural resilience among young people in a vulnerable urban context. It emphasises how young people value informal youth groups as a tool to valorise their own indigenous culture. This is echoed in the world of adults, implying that the collective is a value shared by all. By giving an insight into everyday life in El Alto, the article aims to shed light on issues of identity among second generation migrants, looking at the experiences of rural-urban migrants' children within Bolivia. The article begins by setting the scene and providing information on young people in El Alto. Later, the article focuses on one of the informal youth groups in the city, looking at the importance of dancing and music for their collective identity. This article is about youth and how they negotiate their rural-urban identity as children of rural-urban indigenous migrants. As my young informants often say, the model offered by their parents is described as "good" and "morally rich", while the one offered by the city is "bad" and "amoral". However, there is a tension. If they decide to follow the model of their parents, they will be excluded and discriminated against in the national context. By exploring the political-economic contexts in which youth are growing up in El Alto, the article sheds light on the long-term effects of migration, indigenous and urban identities and cultural resilience in an Andean indigenous city. (Contains 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Bolivia