Fitting into a more appealing diaspora than my own: Positioning Ecuadorian and Honduran migrants within the Newark-area, Portuguese-centric diaspora community of Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Set within the greater metropolitan area of Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A., this paper outlines a novel example of language and diasporic belonging by focusing on Ecuadorian and Honduran migrants who orient to the local Portuguese-centric diaspora, a group that reflects neither their ethnolinguistic heritage nor the regionally dominant culture. Communication Accommodation Theory (Giles, 1973, 2016), together with its power implications (Stell and Dragojevic, 2017), grounds this paper's investigation into the sociolinguistic characteristics of this orientation; the three primary components of investment – ideology, identity, and capital (Darvin and Norton, 2015; Norton, 2000) – serve as the lenses through which to account for this positionality. Analysis of interviews and observations through these theoretical frames provides evidence of horizontal assimilation (Prashad, 2001), the act of strongly affiliating with the culture of a non-dominant group that is different from one's own. These findings stretch the definition of diaspora beyond the dichotomies that have traditionally limited members’ attachment to either the homeland or the receiving state (Grossman, 2019). By pointing to this space for Hispanophone Latinas within this Portuguese-centric diaspora community, these results illustrate the heterogeneity and agency that increasingly characterize diaspora groups (Deumert and Mabandla, 2013; Li Wei 2018; Li Wei and Zhu 2013) albeit in a new way.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102810
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 2020


  • Agency
  • Diaspora
  • Heterogeneity
  • Horizontal assimilation
  • Portuguese

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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