Transnational Migrant Brazilian Women in "Pink Collar Collar Jobs" in the Greater Washington DC Area
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Sociology. American University
The study of transnational migrant Brazilian women in "pink collar jobs" in Washington D.C. metropolitan area comprises thirty-four Brazilian women who chose the United States as their place to be called home. It is termed transnational because of the permanent ties connecting these women to their country of origin, Brazil, and their country of adoption, the United States. The expression "pink collar jobs" indicates low paid jobs, mainly performed by women, no expertise necessary, in the service sector. The Washington D.C. metropolitan area has become a new destination for immigrants with a large concentration of Latin Americans. Brazilian presence is among these diverse groups of immigrants, with an increasing participation on the market. This research focuses on transnational migration in women's context, with all the nuances that involve the process of migration and incorporation into the labor market. Three research questions explore the topic: 1. Why do Brazilian women engage in transnational migration from Brazil to the United States? 1. a. How do social networks affect their transnational migration? 2. How does the social construction of gender and ethnicity influence the occupational choices of this group of Brazilian women, in light of their backgrounds and the job perspectives they anticipated?3. In what ways do pink collar jobs shape their identity, social interaction and job satisfaction? The answers to these questions delineate the main characteristics, aspirations and satisfactions of these migrant workers as they embrace the United States as their new home. Furthermore, they emphasize the role of social networks facilitating their transnational migration which proves a continuous interaction of people and places. The findings are significant to policy makers in sending and receiving countries, to immigrant women and those interested in studying them. Brazilians are many times considered as part of the "panethnic" category of Hispanics. This argument raises discussions about Brazilian ethnic identity which differs from the people of Latin America. They are proud of their "Brazilianess" and see themselves as unique. Immigration shapes much of political debate in the United States. Moreover, the study underscores the importance of diversity in a country founded by immigrants.
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