Azorean Identity in Brazil and the United States

Arguments about History, Culture, and Transnational Connections
Volume 1


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.

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