187 pages, no illustrations
The 'British in Spain' achieved notoriety during the 1980s. As a group they were stereotyped as being made up of exiled criminals, drunken hooligans and inward looking pensioners - unwelcome colonisers reconstructing their own insular 'little England'. The British on the Costa del Sol presents a more complex picture. In this first book length ethnography of the British expatriate community, Karen O'Reilly draws on history, social geography, tourism studies, and theories of ethnicity and community to frame detailed interviews with British migrants themselves. What emerges is a rich account of who migrates, their reasons for migration and the day to day realities of expatriate life. Whilst Britons migrating to Spain have not integrated into their host communities, neither have they colonised swathes of the Spanish coast. The author presents instead a marginal group occupying a liminal space between two countries and two cultures. The British on the Costa del Sol is a lively and accessible account of an under researched transnationl community, and will appeal to social anthropologists and sociologists as well as to the general reader.
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