Immigrant social networks: the Brazilian case

Franklin Goza, Bowling Green State University

This paper examines numerous ways in which social networks have affected past decisions regarding international moves, current immigrant adaptation experiences, and the effects that such networks will likely have on future outcomes. In contrast to other studies that tend to focus only on the positive aspects of social networks, and by extension imply unidimensionality, this study reveals some of the ways in which networks offer differential access to network resources and the possible stratification that may occur within them. To document the role of networks Brazilian immigration to the United States and Canada is examined using qualitative and quantitative data collected in a Brazilian sending region and US and Canadian destination areas. These data are supplemented with ethnographic data, to provide a more personal touch to the empirical results. Findings reveal that while networks may provide numerous positive benefits, they are also stratified by key factors, including place of origin and gender.

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Presented in Session 14: International migration and networks