Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 October 2014
This article uses commentary on and consumption of popular music as a lens to explore how Peruvian immigrants in Spain experience new notions of belonging and alterity as they tack between official Spanish discourses about difference and otherness and distinct notions of unity and sameness that circulate within the country's wider Latin American community. I examine the uneven, tentative emergence of a local Latino identity, and how this formation compares to the tenets that accrue to the formation found in the United States. I explain how the naturalization of this new and alien way of organizing national difference, in concert with native Spanish ideas about European modernity and the need to suppress ethnicity tout court, tends to marginalize distinctive experiences valued by indigenous and mestizo Peruvians from the country's Andean region. I show how they evade the homogenizing tendencies of Latino discourse, bypass native Spanish opposition to the very notion of deep difference, and seek out spaces for asserting difference. Considered also are challenges faced by a country that has undergone rapid and recent multicultural change, even as it seeks to become part of a European project that citizens view widely as an effort to transcend divisive particularity.