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São Paulo: foreigners and the building of the city


This research project intends to relate to the wide literature about the great transformations taken place in São Paulo since the end of 19th century when significant processes of migration have entirely reshaped it into one of the most relevant multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-linguistic centers around the world. The major interest is to study foreigners' presences in the city and their interference on the physical, demographic, economic, social and cultural aspects of the native settlement. Foreigners will be considered here through the various forms of work they have been involved with: both as industrial workers and craftsmen, closely connected with the role of immigrants in the building of a free labor market in the city; and as foreign artists, liberal professionals and intellectuals, in their decisive role in shaping of modern fields and institutions of knowledge and practice. The goal of the research project is to relate spatial and social processes observed in the history of São Paulo with the presence and role of foreigners, their productive and professional practices, their social réseaux, their forms of cohesion, interaction and conflicts with the native structures, in the way they constitute a major part of the building and understanding the city's recent past. Permanently faced with the queries around nationality, the foreigner is therefore assumed here as "the other", whereas the city is considered in the interplay of its material order and social réseaux with the processes of identification and estrangement taken place in it. (AU)

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