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The transnational family: migration, family and rituals among Brazilian migrant women in the UK

Tonhati, Tania Mara Passarelli. 2018. The transnational family: migration, family and rituals among Brazilian migrant women in the UK. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis explores how Brazilian migrant women ‘do family’ with their family members in Brazil. Of particular importance is their practice of family rituals and the giving of ritualist features to family practices to create and recreate a sense of familyhood, even while living at a distance for an extended period of time. The thesis dialogues with transnational family studies that consider the significance and continuity of family relationships in the process of migration. I investigate this in relation to and through the perspective of Brazilian women in London where, despite being populous, they remain a largely understudied migrant group. My investigation is framed by a qualitative methodological framework that includes a multi-sited ethnography at participant houses, biographical interviews and diaries. Fieldwork was carried out in the UK and in Brazil over 21 months, including thirty biographical interviews at the participants’ houses in both locations, and seven daily diaries, reporting the Brazilian women migrants’ daily interaction with their family members in Brazil. My analysis considers the process of ritualization of family life and the creation and recreation of family (in daily, weekly, monthly or annual events, or during the life-course) through communication technologies (letters, telephone, video communication) and visits that constitute the conditions of mediation for families living far apart. I show that ritualizing as a family involves a set of activities heavily encoded with symbolic and affective meanings as well as some constraints which can influence the capacity and opportunity to practise them. I conclude that the process of ritualization of family practices done by the Brazilian transnational families in this study was especially important for them, in order to (re)constitute their sense of familyhood at a distance.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00023046

Keywords:

Transnational families, Brazilian migration, Family rituals, Ritualizing as family

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Date:

28 February 2018

Item ID:

23046

Date Deposited:

15 Mar 2018 14:09

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2018 10:07

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/23046

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