During the last two decades, a decline in public investment has undermined some of the national values and institutions of Costa Rica. The resulting sense of dislocation and loss is usually projected onto Nicaraguan “immigrants.”
Threatening Others: Nicaraguans and the Formation of National Identities in Costa Rica explores the representation of the Nicaraguan “other” in the Costa Rican imagery. It also seeks to address more generally why the sense of national belonging constitutes a crucial identification in contemporary societies. Interdisciplinary and based on extensive fieldwork, it looks critically at the “exceptionalism” that Costa Ricans take for granted and view as a part of their national identity.
Carlos Sandoval-García argues that Nicaraguan immigrants, once perceived as a “communist threat,” are now victims of an invigorated, racialized politics in which the Nicaraguan nationality has become an offense in itself.
Threatening Others is a deeply searching book that will interest scholars and students in Latin American studies and politics, cultural studies, and ethnic studies.
Carlos Sandoval-García is a professor of communication studies at the University of Costa Rica.
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