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Little Brazil:
An Ethnography of Brazilian Immigrants in New York City
Maxine L. Margolis

Paperback | 1993 | $62.50 | £52.95 | ISBN: 9780691000565
360 pp. | 7 3/4 x 10 | 16 halftones 3 maps
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Walking west on 46th Street in Manhattan, just three blocks from Rockefeller Center, one passes Brazilian restaurants, the office of New York's Brazilian newspaper, a Brazilian travel agency, a business that sends remittances and wires flowers to Brazil, and a store that sells Brazilian food products, magazines, newspapers, videos, and tapes. These businesses are the tip of an ethnic iceberg, an unseen minority estimated to number some 80,000 to 100,000 Brazilians in the New York metropolitan area alone. Despite their numbers, the lives of these people remain largely hidden to scholars and the public alike. Now Maxine L. Margolis remedies this neglect with a fascinating and accessible account of the lives of New York's Brazilians.

Showing that these immigrants belie American stereotypes, Margolis reveals that they are largely from the middle strata of Brazilian society: many, in fact, have university educations. Not driven by dire poverty or political repression, they are fleeing from chaotic economic conditions that prevent them from maintaining amiddle-class standard of living in Brazil. But despite their class origin and education, with little English and no work papers, many are forced to take menial jobs after their arrival in the United States. Little Brazil is not an insentient statistical portrait of this population writ large, but a nuanced account that captures what it is like to be a new immigrant in this most cosmopolitan of world cities.

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations xi
List of Tables xiii
Preface xv
Chapter 1. The New Voyagers 3
Chapter 2. Bye-Bye, Brazil 31
Chapter 3. First Days 59
Chapter 4. Who Are They? 83
Chapter 5. Making a Living 109
Chapter 6. From Mistress to Servant 121
Chapter 7. Shoe Shine "Boys" and Go-Go "Girls" 149
Chapter 8. Life and Leisure in the Big Apple 167
Chapter 9. Little Brazil: Is It a Community? 195
Chapter 10. Class Pictures 220
Chapter 11. An Invisible Minority 242
Chapter 12. Sojourner or Immigrant? 258
Notes 277
Glossary of Portuguese and Brazilian-American Terms 301
References 305
Index 323

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File created: 7/11/2017

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