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Title:Ma Io Sono Brasiliano! An Ethnographic Study of the Ethnicity and the Vernacular Expressive Culture of the Italian Immigrants in the City of Sao Paulo, Brazil (Folk Dance; Music)
Author(s):Morato, Maria-Eugenia Brighenti
Department / Program:Physical Education
Discipline:Physical Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Cultural
Abstract:The purpose of this study was: (1) to describe the present ethnic situation of the Italian immigrants who participate in some type of voluntary ethnic association in the city of S ao Paulo, Brazil; and (2) to analyze the expressive culture used in the manifestation of their Italianita, the Italian ethnic identity. The basic methodology used was an ethnographic study carried on during the months of October of 1985 to February of 1986, consisting of interviews, life-histories, questionnaires, and participant-observations of the events held by the Italian community. In addition, an extensive review of literature covered the historical context of immigration in Brazil.
The community was described in terms of its social and political organizations, i.e., how it operates within the pluralistic society of S ao Paulo. To function, the community supports committees and associations; has a specific clientele, i.e., Italian immigrants from the post-World War II period, who present a strong feeling of Italianita, albeit being assimilated into Brazilian culture; and presents dance and music as major factors of its vernacular expression. However, no folk dance was found as significant for the community, except for the Tarantella, which has become a symbol of Italianita when in fact it may be appealing for its characteristic rhythm. Folk music, on the other hand, was found as the strongest element to the expression of this community, mainly for the traditional group. In fact, the community is divided into two factions, the traditional and the modern, many times conflictive in their ideals.
The main conclusions were that Italians are not unique as an ethnic group, i.e., they follow the same attitudinal and behavioral patterns as do other ethnic groups; ethnicity is individual and situational and consequently the degree of assimilation should not correlate with the degree of ethnicity, and both should not correlate with participation in ethnic associations. Although not manipulative outside the group's boundaries, ethnicity is manipulated inside the groups, mainly by the prominenti, as a means of achieving power and control. Because of the strong assimilational phenomenon that occurs in S ao Paulo, the future tendency of the Italian community is to disappear unless a subsequent generation takes charge in reviving this particular culture. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)
Issue Date:1987
Description:243 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8721720
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-18
Date Deposited:1987

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