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Negotiating national identity : immigrants, minorities, and the struggle for ethnicity in Brazil

Author: Jeff Lesser
Publisher: Durham, N.C. : Duke University Press, 1999.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Explores the role ethnic minorities from China, Japan, North Africa, and the Middle East have played in constructing a national identity, thereby challenging dominant notions of Brazilian nationality and citizenship.
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Lesser, Jeff.
Negotiating national identity.
Durham, N.C. : Duke University Press, 1999
(OCoLC)663708252
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jeff Lesser
ISBN: 0822322609 9780822322603 0822322927 9780822322924
OCLC Number: 39625191
Description: xvi, 281 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: The Hidden Hyphen --
Chinese Labor and the Debate over Ethnic Integration --
Constructing Ethnic Space --
Searching for a Hyphen --
Negotiations and New Identities --
Turning Japanese --
A Suggestive Epilogue.
Responsibility: Jeffrey Lesser.
More information:

Abstract:

Explores the role ethnic minorities from China, Japan, North Africa, and the Middle East have played in constructing a national identity, thereby challenging dominant notions of Brazilian nationality and citizenship.

"Despite great ethnic and racial diversity, ethnicity in Brazil is often portrayed as a simple matter of black or white, a distinction reinforced by the ruling elite's efforts to craft the nation's identity in its own image-white, Christian, and European. In Negotiating National Identity Jeffrey Lesser explores the role ethnic minorities from China, Japan, North Africa, and the Middle East have played in constructing a national identity, thereby challenging dominant notions of Brazilian nationality and citizenship. Seeking to realize their vision of a white Brazil, the ruling classes welcomed desirable European immigrants yet did not anticipate the potential threat of social and labor activism. In reaction, Brazilian elites recruited migrant labor from Asia and the Middle East, then expanded the definition of whiteness, encouraging the new arrivals to consider themselves white regardless of their actual race or ethnicity. Believing, however, that their ethnic heritage was too high a price to pay for the privilege of being white, many of these immigrants have created alternative categories for themselves, such as Syrian-Brazilian, Korean-Brazilian, and so on. By examining how acculturating minority groups have represented themselves, Lesser reenvisions what it means to be Brazilian. Based on extensive research, Negotiating National Identity will be valuable to scholars and students in Brazilian and Latin American studies, as well as those in the fields of immigrant history, ethnic studies, and race relations."--Amazon.ca Dec. 2013.

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