Place attachment amongst indigenous Mapuches in Santiago, Chile.

[Speaker] Merino, Mariaeugenia:1
1:Catholic University at Temuco,Chile (Chile)

This paper examines the social, spatial and affective relations through which Mapuche indigenous families in Santiago produce and reproduce a series of connections with the ancestral territory in Chile's south, their historic site of Mapuche habitation. Inspired by environmental discursive psychology (Dixon and Durrheim, 2004) the paper examines the sociocultural and discursive practices and associated meanings through which attachment and relations with the place of origin are forged and articulated. Providing evidence of place attachment amongst the Mapuche family members, we document how regardless of discontinuous direct relationships, ancestral territory is nevertheless associated with emotional and socially-meaningful place relations expressed in the families' narratives through memories, imaginative geographies, and exchanges of meaningful artifacts and information. Furthermore, participants reflexively navigate in the course of the focus groups as they seek to reconstruct a sense of belonging, inclusion and attachment in their new place of residence.
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