Generacion salida

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University of Alabama Libraries

In less than a decade since the onset of the global economic crisis, more than 2 million people have left Spain in search of work and the possibility of a livable existence. Many of these economic exiles are young and highly qualified, leading some to classify this exodus as a brain drain. Lingering labor market instability and growing mistrust in Spain’s political system portend a challenging future for members of the so-called “lost generation,” both at home and abroad. Meanwhile, many questions remain about the lasting effects and repercussions of the crisis and massive departure of young Spaniards. In response, the recession and ensuing surge in emigration have been popular themes of economic, demographic and sociological research in recent years; however, the cultural productions representative of this group remain relatively unstudied. The current investigation focuses on a selection of documentary films and fictional literature that portray the experiences of these highly qualified migrants. Through close analysis of these works, narrative patterns and trends appeared. These literary and audiovisual texts manifest the dialectical tensions of exile literature theorized by Sophia McClennen as well as the complex nostalgias of Svetlana Boym. They also reject and redefine the generational terms imposed upon them, express diasporic solidarity and call for political involvement and collective action. The rhetorical undercurrents at work in these constructions of individual and group identity suggest the emergence of an archetypal narrative of the new Spanish migrant. The cultural negotiations implicit in this narrative seem to confirm that sweeping but gradual societal changes are taking effect, even beyond Spain's borders.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Romance literature, Modern language, Film studies