Contested Nationalisms: (im)mobility and belonging in times of crisis

Authors: Daniel Robins*, University of St Andrews
Topics: Political Geography, Latin America, Immigration/Transnationalism
Keywords: Brazil, Sao Paulo, immobility, migration, Bolsonaro
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Executive Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Drawing on qualitative research conducted with middle-class Brazilians from all sides of the political spectrum, this paper seeks to explore how recent events in Brazilian politics have been understood and interpreted by both those on the right and the left. In the process it examines how a sense of national belonging and a wider attachment to place have been affected by and in turn, have affected reactions to the political crisis. It finds that there are many parallels in the way that those interviewed from both the right and the left characterise their frustration with Brazil, with both pointing to corruption, inequality and crime. The differences seem to lie in the proposed solutions. Hirschman’s concepts of Exit, Voice and Loyalty is often used as a way to understand international migration decisions. How can these ideas help to understand what effect this political crisis has had on people’s desire to stay or emigrate from Brazil? That many may view non-migration as a duty to stay rather than a right to move is under examined. Do some stay for the same reasons others choose to leave?

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