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Bulgarian Migrants in Spain: Social Networks, Patterns of Transnationality, Community Dynamics and Cultural Change in Catalonia (Northeastern Spain) 1

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We analyze the Bulgarian migrant social networks in two localities (Roses and Barcelona) of Northeastern Spain (Catalonia), in order to determine the sociodemographic profile of Bulgarian migrants in these localities and assess the different patterns of adaptation (which means selective cultural changes to fit better with dominant practices) and community dynamics developed in each place. The methodology used is the structured interview supported by an open-source program (EgoNet) for collecting personal network data, along with participant observation and in-depth interviews. In addition, Bulgarian migrant associations and entities in Spain have been identified as a part of the global pattern of adaptation of this group. We show that local context matters for the type of adaptation of migrants. Therefore, in small contexts it is possible to form part of a denser and more homogeneous ethnic network, having at the same time a similar proportion of Catalan-Spaniard contacts as in larger towns. Small contexts favor segmented (or dual) adaptation to the host society. This adaptation manifests important and substantial differences between the public sphere (visible to the host society) and the private sphere (family life and close friends).

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Personal Networks Communities, Department of Social Anthropology, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Faculty of Arts


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