Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil
Duke University Press, 1999 - 281 pages
Despite great ethnic and racial diversity, ethnicity in Brazil is often portrayed as a 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 crucial role ethnic minorities from China, Japan, North Africa, and the Middle East have played in constructing Brazil's national identity, thereby challenging dominant notions of nationality and citizenship.
Employing a cross-cultural approach, Lesser examines a variety of acculturating responses by minority groups, from insisting on their own whiteness to becoming ultra-nationalists and even entering secret societies that insisted Japan had won World War II. He discusses how various minority groups engaged in similar, and successful, strategies of integration even as they faced immense discrimination and prejudice. Some believed that their ethnic heritage was too high a price to pay for the "privilege" of being white and created alternative categories for themselves, such as Syrian-Lebanese, Japanese-Brazilian, and so on. By giving voice to the role ethnic minorities have played in weaving a broader definition of national identity, this book challenges the notion that elite discourse is hegemonic and provides the first comprehensive look at Brazilian worlds often ignored by scholars.
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.
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The Hidden Hyphen
Constructing Ethnic Space
+ Searching for a Hyphen
Negotiations and New Identities
A Suggestive Epilogue
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agricultural AHI-R Annaes da Assembleia apresentado April Arab Arquivo Asians Assyrians Azevedo began Botelho Brasileira Brazil Brazilian Brazilian national China Chinese labor colonies colonizacao Companhia Editora Nacional Consul Correio da Manhã Correio Paulistano culture Didrio diplomats economic elite emigration entry Estado Estudos Nipo-Brasileiros ethnicity European Gakusei Historia Imigracao Japonesa imigrante immi Imperial Imprensa Nacional Japa Japan Japanese immigrants Japanese-Brazilian Japão Japonesa no Brasil japonez Jorge Jornal do Brasil Jornal do Comercio José July Kabushiki Kaisha Kaigai Kogyo Kabushiki Lebanese legislatura Lima March Minas Gerais Minister of Foreign Moreira NARC-W national identity Neiva nese newspapers nikkei Nippak official Oliveira Paulista Paulistano percent Portuguese PRO-L Raca race racial Revista Rio de Janeiro Rodrigues Santos Sao Paulo Secretaria sessão Shinbun Shindo Renmei sirio-libanesa social Sociedade society Syrian and Lebanese Syrian-Lebanese Tavares Bastos Tetartos Tokyo Tokyo Nichi-Nichi Tong King-sing turco University Press Vargas viagem women Yamashiro zilian
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