Taking off

Takingoff To pave the way for the comparative approach the project aims for there was a lot of ground to cover. The Brazilian population in Portugal has been widely studied in the last decade (i.e. Coêlho, n.d.; Filho, 2008; Góis, Marques, & Padilla, 2009; Machado, 2003; Malheiros (ed.), 2007; Padilla et al., 2012; Pontes, 2004 among others), since the second big influx of people started to arrive around the 2000s. In contrast, little is known about the Portuguese who make their way abroad ever since the country became an immigration context. Most researchers working on international mobility redirected their focus to the transformations taking place within the national territory (Arroteia, 2011; J. Malheiros, 2011; Peixoto, 2012). The only clues available suggest the dynamics of circulation among the two countries is witnessing a new trend: Portuguese emigrants have never been as qualified and many Brazilians face personal and pragmatic dilemmas when considering return, as there still may be more opportunities in big cities like Oporto and Lisbon than in the small towns from which many came (and grew unaccustomed to).

The team dived into contextualizing exercises. On the one hand, we interviewed 17 experts who have looked into different aspects of the Brazilians’ and Portuguese’ international mobility. Researchers, members of migrants’ associations, diplomatic officials and coordinators of institutions both monitoring and assisting international circulation (i.e the International Organization for Migration; the Observatory of Emigration; the National Institute of Statistics (INE – Instituto Nacional de Estatística) provided informed guesses and background research that have been useful to grasp the field. On the other hand, we grappled with data from the latest census in Portugal, Visas granted by both the General Consulate of Brazil in Oporto and Lisbon and detailed surveys conducted by INE about living conditions.

With a better sense of the scale of movements, contours of the population and dimension of tendencies, questions have been emerging. We are now preparing the survey we will carry out among Brazilians in Oporto and Lisbon and to Portuguese in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Besides looking to confirm our hints, we will be exploring questions of material culture that have never been asked to these people. What consumption habits change when Portuguese engineers, architects and managers have to cope with living in extremely expensive cities? What do unemployed construction workers who reach their limit bring home when s/he wants to impress friends and family (and keep some of Europe with him/her) but there is little s/he can afford? What investment strategies do entrepreneurial Brazilian beauticians take in order to endure the crisis and keep alluring customers to strive for a Brazilian-like body? How do the material surroundings of Portuguese men who find themselves in the small hometowns of their Brazilian wives change their view of Brazil? How do the Portuguese wives who travel on the work visas of their husbands reinvent their daily routines, and the rules of conduct they teach their children, in cities that are often talked about as very dangerous in Portugal?

Keep checking for updates.


Arroteia, J. C. (2011). A EMIGRAÇÃO PORTUGUESA : breve retrospectiva. Cadernos Vianenses, (45), 37–47.

Coêlho, C. M. (n.d.). Mobilidades migratórias e precarização das condições de vida: a situação dos brasileiros em Brasilândia (Portugal). Lisboa.

FIlho, W. (2008). Imagem do Imigrante Brasileiro no Jornalismo Televisivo Português 2004-2006 (Colecção T.). Lisboa: ACIDI.

Góis, P., Marques, J. C., & Padilla, B. (2009). Segunda ou terceira vaga ? As características da imigração brasileira recente em Portugal Second or third wave ? Patterns of recent Brazilian immigration in Portugal. Revista Migrações, Número Tem(5), 111–133.

Machado, I. J. de R. (2003). Cárcere Públioc – processos de exotização entre imigrantes brasileiros no Porto, Portugal. Universidade Estadual de Campinas.

Malheiros, J. (2011). Notas e Reflexões PORTUGAL 2010 : O REGRESSO DO PAÍS DE EMIGRAÇÃO ? 1. Janus.net, 2(1), 133–142.

Malheiros, J. M. (Ed.). (2007). Imigração brasileira em portugal (pp. 1–248). Lisboa: ACIDI – Observatório da Imigração.

Padilla, B., Rodrigues, E., Masanet, E., Fernandes, G., Gomes, M., & França, T. (2012). Novas e Velhas Configurações da Imigração Brasileira na Europa Atas do 2o Seminário de Estudos sobre a Imigração Brasileira na Europa Beatriz Padilla. Lisboa: CIES-IUL, ISCTE.

Peixoto, J. (2012). A emigração portuguesa hoje: o que sabemos e o que não sabemos. Lisboa.

Pontes, L. (2004). Mulheres Brasileiras na Mídia Portuguesa. Cadernos Pagu, 23(229-256).

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