Searching for a Better Life and Its Constraints: A Comparison among Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese and Syrian-Lebanese Strategies of Immigrant Upward Mobility in the Provinces of São Paulo (1880-1950)

Oswaldo Truzzi, Universidade Federal de São Carlos

Between 1880 and 1950, the state of São Paulo received the major flow of immigrants brought to Brazil. Five groups made up the main flow, composed by Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese and Syrian-Lebanese immigrants. Initially conceived to substitute slaves of African descent in the work of the coffee plantations in the provinces of São Paulo, the integration of these ethnic groups, however, followed different paths. How were the processes of incorporation of these ethnic groups historically and socially shaped? Based on a variety of different sources, this paper discusses the different constraints, strategies and achievements of each group in a comparative perspective. The main variables that showed to be relevant are: 1) the time of arrival, 2) the cultural capital brought by each ethnic group, as well as 3) their social capital (specifically, their ability to associate), 4) the choice between urban and rural economic insertion that offered different opportunities, and 5) the migration policies adopted by their original states regarding the support of emigrants in the destination.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 261. Networks of Migrant Integration, Support, and Activism