Por Anna Giulia Ingellis para Studi Emigrazione, LIII, n. 202, 2016
El sueño de los perdedores (The Dream of the Losers) is a sociological investigation about Argentine emigration to Spain between 1970 and 2010. This period includes a migratory cycle that began with political exile in the seventies, and ended with the recent return of emigrants during the economic crisis of 2001. In general terms, the work focuses on three crucial aspects of migration studies: the demographic characteristics of the migrants, the motivation behind the move, and economic integration upon arrival.
The appealing title of the book makes reference to what will be one of the main conclusions of the work. The author argues that the motivation behind the observed migration was different forms of loss in Argentina (material, symbolic, emotional…). Later, in Spain, they could not be compensated in any way for these losses, but rather, in many cases, their problems were reproduced (poverty, unemployment, family breakdowns, frustration…). On the other hand, it was also found that movement was motivated by dreams of progress and that, while this often conflicted with reality, migration was opportunity for many Argentines to materialize long-standing desires, or create new expectations. The author highlights the light and shadow of a complex process, one that is difficult to explain using only broad strokes and black and white, or even shortcuts prescribed by methodological nationalism, commonly used by researchers.