Our Life Is Not Here

Our Life Is Not Here: Migration and Return of Young Spaniards Living in Chile

Rodríguez-Puertas, Rubén
Ainz-Galende, Alexandra
Social Sciences, 10 (8), 1-17 (2021). Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(8), 293; 
August 2021


With the aim of understanding the recent migration processes of young Spaniards settled in Chile, the present paper analyzes, on the one hand, how these young people experience their arrival and establishment in said Latin American country and, in the other hand, how the process of returning and readjusting to Spanish society takes place. For that, and following the procedures of the Grounded Theory, the discourses of 37 Spanish migrants obtained through in depth interviews were analyzed: 22 of them are living in Chile and the other 15 returned to Spain after spending a long period in Chilean society and have been living in Spain for at least one year since then. All of them have university degrees, are between 25 and 35 years old, and arrived in Chile between 2013 and 2018. This qualitative study shows the way in which these migrants experience their sociocultural integration in Chilean society, which could be typified as “nostalgic” since it is characterized by the idealization of and the longing for their society of origin. Another key characteristic is the eventual return to the country of origin, in which the desynchronization they experience is especially remarkable: after a long period abroad, they feel disconnected from the transformations that have taken place in their original environment, which leads them to experience a difficult process of readjustment to Spanish society that sometimes is even more complex than that experienced abroad.

Artículo completo: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0760/10/8/293/htm