Researcher highlights the stigma in Spain for young people of Dominican origin
Young people of Dominican origin in Spain are stigmatized, either because they are classified as second or third-generation migrants or because of the names of the two most notorious youth gangs in the European country, according to anthropologist Katia Núñez. “Many are considered criminals for the simple fact of wearing a rapper aesthetic or being from the environment of these street groups, without ever having committed any crime,” said Núñez, an anthropologist who studies the so-called youth gangs in Spain. In previous investigations, the expert also said that she verified the weight of the stigma suffered by young people when they are singled out and labeled as problematic who do not integrate into the destination society or criminals, for the simple fact of being of immigrant origin. Núñez indicated, in an article published in the third edition of the Estudios Migratorios magazine of the National Institute of Migration (INM), that the name of the two investigated groups (Dominican Don’t Play and Trinitarios) also affects young people of Dominican origin. or from Dominican families.
This stigma comes, in part and according to Núñez’s explanation, from the media that “strive to create social alarm” regarding the groups, which further stigmatizes the Dominican and Latino population in general. In the article, the researcher reviews Dominican migration in Spain, about regrouped young people and what their life was like in their place of origin, and the differences with their place of destination. She also reflects on how the media address the issue of the so-called Latino gangs. Núñez affirmed that most of the news items consulted in the media use youth street groups as bait to promote sensationalist discourses that generate social alarm and citizen insecurity.
“The image that is presented of the groups only encourages rejection and exclusion and makes invisible the reality of the young people who make them up, criminalizing them all,” he added in his doctoral thesis on the case studies of the Dominican Don´t Play and the Trinitarians. This occurs despite the fact that, currently, many young people who join street youth groups have been born in Spain, although from families of Dominican (or foreign) origin.