The Portuguese in the Americas Series aims to contribute to the growing field of Portuguese-American Studies. The Series documents the variety and complexity of the Portuguese-American experience by publishing works in the social sciences, history and literature.
Azorean Identity in Brazil and the United States
University of Massachusetts Press
Azorean Identity in Brazil and the United States:
Arguments about History, Culture, and Transnational Connections
João Leal; Wendy Graca, trans.

Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth

2011 . 192 pp. 6 x 9"
Anthropology / Ethnic Studies / American History

$24.95 Paperback, 978-1-933227-31-3


An intriguing comparison of identity formation among Portuguese immigrants from the Azores Islands and their descendants in Brazil and the U.S.

This comparative investigation of Azorean identity formation in southern Brazil and southeastern New England explores how immigrants and their descendants actively create local, national, and transnational connections and discourses of belonging. These two outposts of the Azorean diaspora have very different settlement histories: the Azorean settlement of Santa Catarina dates back to the mid-18th century and has not been augmented by any new immigration for over 250 years; Azorean emigration to southeastern New England is largely a 19th and 20th century phenomenon that has led to the formation of large ethnic communities. The surprise at the heart of this book is that despite these very different immigration histories, collective interest in Azorean culture and public manifestations of Azoreanness are quite prominent in both places. The contrasts between these two very differently situated identity narratives offer insight into the variable and sometimes rather counter-intuitive processes of ethnic formation. These findings are pertinent to debates about the nature of ethnic identity and transnational communities.


“Azorean Identity in Brazil and the United States offers an insightful and rich ethnographic comparison of how identities are formed and transformed among Azoreans in New England and Brazil. The book touches on a host of questions of critical concern in contemporary immigration studies: transnationalism, the second generation, ethnicity, and the politics of culture.”
- Caroline Brettell, Southern Methodist University

“Azorean Identity in Brazil and the United States offers a rare, multi-sited portrayal of immigration and expressive culture focused on two hot spots of Azorean settlement. This is a fascinating comparative study and an important ethnography for scholars of Lusophone culture.”
- Kimberly DaCosta Holton, Rutgers University

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