Learning contexts of the others

Identity building processes in southern Europe


  • António Fragososup University of Algarve, Portugal
  • Teresa González Gómez University of Huelva, Spain
  • Estrella Gualda University of Huelva, Spain
  • Emilio Lucio-Villegas University of Seville, Spain
  • Juan M. Gualda University of Huelva, Spain
  • Vània Martins University of Algarve, Portugal




The frontier between the south of Spain and Portugal is established by the river Guadiana. Lying next to the sea, the cities of Ayamonte (Spain) and Vila Real de Santo António (Portugal) face each other on opposite banks of the river. The research that feeds into this paper is focused on these two cities. We study specifically how identity is built in this cross-border area. To do this, in a first phase of this study we organized eight focus group interviews. In the second phase of this research we conducted biographical interviews to deepen some of the analytic categories we were dealing with.

These results lead us to state that the territory, and the views that people hold on this territory, are still very important in identity building. This includes both culture and identity as strategic elements in the construction of both development and educational processes. Additionally, one has to ask where people learn the elements that determine these processes. The images of ourselves and the images of the other – that make up stereotypes of both the Spanish and the Portuguese – are built in what kind of contexts and through what types of educational processes? We will try to answer these questions


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How to Cite

Fragososup, A., González Gómez, T., Gualda, E., Lucio-Villegas, E., M. Gualda, J., & Martins, V. (2011). Learning contexts of the others: Identity building processes in southern Europe. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 2(2), 151–163. https://doi.org/10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela0033