Research Groups

Circulation and Place-making

Coordination: Sónia Ferreira and Inês Lourenço


Circulation and mobilities in contemporary life have been two important topics of research in anthropology, whose focus on migration, transnationalism, cosmopolitanisms, in the relationship between colonialism and postcolonialism, and travelling cultural forms has stressed flow and interactive forms of sociality and belonging. This focus on circulation has also led to an interest in immobility, namely, forms of place-making and reterritorialization, forced geographical inertia, the politics of autochthony or the production of belonging.

The main objective of this group is to explore these themes by fostering research on: (a) movements of people, particularly those connected with international migration in different places and times; (b) the connections between these movements and the (re)configuration of sociabilities, relations and group-making; (c) the articulation of movements of people and religious phenomena. In each case, the objective is to examine the dialectic between mobility/immobility, flow/closure and social and cultural transformations.

This research agenda is being carried out in several contexts, with an emphasis on Portugal, Latin America (especially in Brazil), and other Portuguese-speaking countries, as well as on Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

Our aim is to contribute to on-going anthropological debates on forms of movement and roots-making by exploring: (a) the diverse regimes of mobility in Portugal (immigration and emigration) and its subjectivities; and (b) the development of various modes of religious transnationalism that connect the circulation of people, cultural forms and imagination.

Within this framework, we intend to: (a) foster follow-up research on immigrant groups in Portugal (remigrations, social mobilities, new aspirations and expectations, etc.); (b) incite studies on Portuguese emigration, with a special focus on lesser known or recent migratory contexts, in Brazil and other Portuguese-speaking countries and in Europe; (c) create the conditions for a more integrated discussion of forms of transnational circulation of religion and other modes of movement and creativity in the religious realm.

These research concerns and approaches are articulated with other lines of research within CRIA, focusing on tourism, public policies on migration, religions diversity, among others.

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