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The ups and downs of Italian identify in the provinces of São Paulo

Abstract

The book discusses Italian ethnic identities between 1880 and 1950 in the provinces of São Paulo, where the majority of Italian immigrants had set in the period. We argue that both processes of assimilation and affirmation of ethnic identity occurred in the region where coffee economy developed. From a theoretical point of view, Italianate is seen as basically a social border built between the group and the others. The book follows the social constructions both positive and nega tive about Italians that have influenced their (in) visibility or (d) evaluation. Furthermore, the building of narratives of assimilation or ethnic affirmation also depends on structural processes that do (or do not) offer opportunities and identity contents. As a whole, such elements can be found in the intersection among: 1) the social, economic and cultural background brought by immigrants; 2) the conditions of their insertion in the new land, both in urban and rural settings; 3) the political and ideological contexts of each nation (Italy and Brazil) in the above-mentioned period. (AU)

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