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Becoming Nordic in Brazil: Whiteness and Icelandic Heritage in Brazilian Identity Making

Becoming Nordic in Brazil: Whiteness and Icelandic Heritage in Brazilian Identity Making


Title: Becoming Nordic in Brazil: Whiteness and Icelandic Heritage in Brazilian Identity Making
Author: Loftsdóttir, Kristín   orcid.org/0000-0003-3491-724X
Eyþórsdóttir, Eyrún
Willson, Margaret
Date: 2021-03
Language: English
Scope: 80-94
University/Institute: University of Akureyri
School: School of Humanities
Department: Faculty of Sociology, Anthropology and Folkloristics
Series: Nordic Journal of Migration Research; 11(1)
ISSN: 1799-649X
DOI: https://doi.org/10.33134/njmr.403
Subject: Fólksflutningar (félagsfræði); Íslendingabyggðir; Suður-Ameríkubúar; Brazilian; Heritage movement; Migration; Nordic; Whiteness; Migration; Icelanders; South America
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2611

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Citation:

Loftsdóttir , K , Eyþórsdóttir , E & Willson , M 2021 , ' Becoming Nordic in Brazil: Whiteness and Icelandic Heritage in Brazilian Identity Making ' , Nordic Journal of Migration Research , vol. 11 , no. 1 , pp. 80-94 . https://doi.org/10.33134/njmr.403

Abstract:

In this article, we focus on whiteness as an historically shifting phenomenon by analysing Brazilian recent emphasis on Icelandic ancestry, demonstrating the intersection of whiteness, class and ethnicity. A small group of Icelanders were among the millions migrating to Brazil around the latter half of the nineteenth century. The Icelandic migrants did not emphasise their Icelandic identity but affiliated themselves with Germans and other favoured immigrant groups. More than 130 years later, a group of Brazilians of Icelandic descent founded the Iceland Brazil Association to celebrate the Icelandic part of their ancestry. Since then, both their membership and interest in Iceland have grown. We ask how this emphasis on Icelandic ancestry intersects with an increased reification of Icelandic identity as ‘white’ identity. The discussion shows that the emphasis on Icelandic ethnic markers is new in Brazil and needs to be understood within the theorisation of Brazilian national and racialised identity.

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