Tropical Brazucas


Material Information

Tropical Brazucas Brazilians in South Florida and the Imaginary of National Identity
Physical Description:
1 online resource (192 p.)
Resende, Rosana
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Committee Chair:
Margolis, Maxine L.
Committee Members:
Needell, Jeffrey D.
Stoilkova, Maria Milkova
Pena, Milagros


Subjects / Keywords:
brazil, brazilian, gender, globalization, miami, national, new, south, stereotypes
Anthropology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Anthropology thesis, Ph.D.
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )


This dissertation concentrates on the Brazilian community in South Florida focusing on the imaginary of national identity as a concept that remains viable and essential in notions of belonging and the articulation of the self. Despite the increasingly globalized world, nationality is still the primary way of identifying people who leave their country of origin. At this moment of unprecedented migration, how communities organize themselves around labels?indeed, how they employ these labels to promote, deride, rank, and otherwise classify?affects their insertion into the multicultural societies they now inhabit. Despite alleged cultural homogenization and an ideology of a global village, discourse about national identities is still expressed in remarkably stable and fixed ways, made explicit and particularly relevant through migration. I examine how Brazilians in South Florida, faced with an American system of compulsory categorization that hierarchically ordains peoples and groups, interpret their new social location. In showing how these immigrants articulate both Brazil as a nation and Brazilians as a people, I seek to counter notions that national identities are only expressed in nationalist terms or as patriotic pride. Rather, I argue that these identities emerge in nuanced statements that define Brazilians both as ?others? who embody undesirable traits and as an idealized Brazilian self. Through interviews designed to elicit ideas about identity, nation and belonging, I contrast the presentation of self and others and of Brazil and the United States across multiple domains, finding that Brazilian and American are consistently presented as opposite descriptors. This discourse of difference that permeates both discussions of other Brazilians and of Americans generates a need for a third space or identity, at times embracing hybridity but at others rejecting both identities in favor of an individualistic self-understanding. Through an approach that embraces native ethnography methodology, I employ the narratives of participants to demonstrate how national identities within the migration context are imagined in ways that interpret the self in relation to others. These narratives, in turn, converge in the hybrid space that is South Florida, engaging issues of identity, social class and space in South Florida?s Dade and Broward counties. Given its diverse environment and overwhelming immigrant presence, South Florida serves as a laboratory for inter- and intra-ethnic relations in multicultural immigrant cities, where new groups tend to settle. My findings suggest that the empowerment of the community is conditioned by internal dynamics as well as by the context of the receiving society. As an example of the former, the ethnic press, for instance, often reifies internal divisions rather than calling them into question, thus perpetuating a discourse of disunity in weekly publications that are widely distributed. On the other hand, the receiving society impacts the group?s cohesion. For example, gender dynamics are altered and perhaps even inverted when Brazilian women find themselves to be desired by Brazilian, Latino, and American men, thus gaining leverage vis-a grave-vis their male counterparts in terms of insertion to American society and even a path to lega status. I finalize with a discussion of this third, immigrant, identity as the formation of a new Brazilian ethnic community becomes established in the United States.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Rosana Resende.
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
General Note:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
General Note:
Adviser: Margolis, Maxine L.
General Note:

Record Information

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Applicable rights reserved.
lcc - LD1780 2009
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