Truth, Lies, and Audio Files A Conflict Across Reputational and Convivial Domains

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Conviviality (convivencia), a rubric for peaceable coexistence across cultural and ethnoracial differences, has been promoted as a multifaceted educational priority in contemporary Spain, although the stakes of tolerance and civility mean quite different things for pupils of autochthonous and immigrant backgrounds. For some Moroccan youth attending school in the agricultural southeast, experiences with xenophobia and racialized exclusion have made them both fierce critics and defenders of convivial precepts. At one secondary school, questions about convivial protocols became especially pressing in the wake of accusations against several Moroccan girls for stealing sandwiches from a disabled peer. A confrontation between three of them was captured on a digital audio recorder and, in tandem with interview and observational data, suggested that convivial priorities had been pushed aside in favour of reputational attacks and disciplinary punishments. The juxtaposition of convivial ideals against reputational dynamics shows that competing logics of communicative entitlement undergirded the conflict. And in the girls’ various attempts to absolve themselves, imputations about moral character and social affiliations pointed to the need for fuller consideration of conviviality as a relational concept.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022


  • Spain
  • conviviality
  • dignity
  • entitlement
  • immigrant youth
  • relationality
  • reputation
  • values


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