By May E. Bletz (auth.)
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Additional info for Immigration and Acculturation in Brazil and Argentina 1890–1929
These businesses were run in a strictly hierarchical way, with the lowest jobs filled by recent immigrants. This type of business remained dependent on the metropolitan financial and mercantile center, which was usually located in Porto, and the workers came mostly from the Minho region in Northern Portugal. This resistance toward assimilation obviously provoked resentment among Brazilians. Impossible Citizens The failure of the institutions that were supposed to educate and protect these new citizens provides the framework for O cortiço.
Work becomes a means through which the immigrant can negotiate his or her new Brazilian identity. As Gladys Ribeiro asserts, “O trabalho assalariado foi introduzido no Brasil, e a figura do trabalhador livre, nas condições específicas do processo histórico de formação do mercado de mão-de-obra entre nós, provocou um novo entendimento de como se originava o lucro”46 (Salaried labor was introduced in Brazil, and the figure of the free worker, under the specific conditions of the historical process of the formation of a national market for labor, led to a new understanding of how wealth could be created).
The novel follows the lives of Portuguese immigrants as they adapt to their new country. ” Ethnographer and sociologist Gilberto Freyre, for instance, affirms, “Deixou Aluísio Azevedo no seu Cortiço um retrato disfarçado em romance que é menos ficção literária que documentação sociológica de uma fase e de um aspecto característico da formação brasileira”39 (In his novel O cortiço, Aluísio Azevedo left a portrait disguised as fiction. It is less literary fiction than sociological documentation of a phase and a characteristic aspect of the formation of Brazil).
Immigration and Acculturation in Brazil and Argentina 1890–1929 by May E. Bletz (auth.)