Learning contexts of the others: Identity building processes in southern Europe
Lucio-Villegas Ramos, Emilio Luis
González Gómez, Teresa
Gualda, Juan M.
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Teoría e Historia de la Educación y Pedagogía Social|
|Abstract||The frontier between the south of Spain and Portugal is established by the river
Guadiana. Lying next to the sea, the cities of Ayamonte (Spain) and Vila Real de Santo
António (Portugal) face each other on opposite banks ...
The frontier between the south of Spain and Portugal is established by the river Guadiana. Lying next to the sea, the cities of Ayamonte (Spain) and Vila Real de Santo António (Portugal) face each other on opposite banks of the river. The research that feeds into this paper is focused on these two cities. We study specifically how identity is built in this cross-border area. To do this, in a first phase of this study we organized eight focus group interviews. In the second phase of this research we conducted biographical interviews to deepen some of the analytic categories we were dealing with. These results lead us to state that the territory, and the views that people hold on this territory, are still very important in identity building. This includes both culture and identity as strategic elements in the construction of both development and educational processes. Additionally, one has to ask where people learn the elements that determine these processes. The images of ourselves and the images of the other – that make up stereotypes of both the Spanish and the Portuguese – are built in what kind of contexts and through what types of educational processes? We will try to answer these questions and, finally, provide some idea of the importance of adult education in these processes of identity building, and of the attempt to construct more fluid relationships between the southern Portuguese and Spanish.