From Fado to Tango: Portuguese Emigration and Emigrants in the Plata-Basin Region
This project proposes a sociological research on the Portuguese emigration and emigrants in the Plata-Basin region (Southern Brazil, the Pampas and Litoral regions in Argentina, and Uruguay). The relevance of the study is emphasised by two features of the Portuguese migration flows that differ from global international trends: first, emigration is not a circumstantial but rather a structural characteristic of the Portuguese society (Godinho, 1978), in the sense that it is a persistent historical pattern; second, the country has a notable specificity if compared to other national contexts: it is both an immigration and emigration country. Recent data show that emigration flows not only co-exist with new immigration waves, but have even been intensified in recent years. Considering the social and political impact of migratory flows, the project sets two main objectives: first, to develop an analysis of the conditions that framed the Portuguese emigration to the Plata-Basin region during the last half-century, and to depict a sociological 'portrait' of those emigrant communities, some of which have been mostly ignored until now (namely those in Argentina and Uruguay); second, to focus on socio-cultural identities with a view to investigating their relation with the life trajectories of the emigrants. In order to achieve these objectives, the project is methodologically based on a mixed design. It aims at conciliating the analysis of statistical data and documents from a variety of sources at an aggregate level (statistical series, legislation, public policies, etc.) with a survey of the Portuguese associations in the region, complemented with in-depth case studies of biographical trajectories (life-histories).