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Little Brazil [Paperback]

Maxine L. Margolis

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Book Description

November 29, 1993 0691000565 978-0691000565

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.

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More About the Author

Maxine L. Margolis is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the University of Florida and Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for Latin American Studies, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.

Dr. Margolis, a native of New York City, who earned her PhD in anthropology at Columbia University, is the author or editor of eight books including Mothers and Such: Views of American Women and Why they Changed (University of California Press, 1984), Little Brazil: An Ethnography of Brazilian Immigrants in New York City (Princeton University Press 1994), True to Her Nature: Changing Advice to American Women (Waveland 2000) and An Invisible Minority: Brazilians in New York City (revised 2nd edition, University Press of Florida 2009). Her most recent book, Goodbye, Brazil: Emigrés from the Land of Soccer and Samba, which focuses on the Brazilian diaspora worldwide, will be published later this year by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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