Moving Difference demonstrates how differences between migrants who share the same nationality travel with them and can impact on every aspect of their ‘mobile lives’. Analysing the lived experiences and narratives of Brazilians in London, it adds an in-depth ethnographic understanding of the specific contours of difference to studies of migration by demonstrating how social differences, rooted in colonial legacies, are constantly being re-created and negotiated in the everyday making of the global world.
By using ethnographic observations and in-depth interviews, in addition to historical and contextual analyses, the book allows us to understand how people speak of, engage with and negotiate difference in their everyday lives and how this is shaped by the macro political and social contexts of immigration and emigration.
Giving attention to the complex interrelations between ‘here’ and ‘there’, past and present, this book allows us to go beyond the proliferated homogenised stereotypes of ‘the migrant’ and ‘the migrant community’ often reproduced by academics as well as by the media and politicians whether with a view to pathologizing or romanticizing the ‘migrant other’. This title will appeal to students, scholars, community workers and general readers interested in migration, social class, gender, ‘race’ and ethnicity, colonialism and slavery, social exclusion, globalisation and urban sociology.
"In Moving Difference Martins-Junior amplifies the voices of Brazilian migrants, who tell us what they bring with them to London; their conceptions of self and other and their versions of social difference, rooted in Brazil and reanimated in their lives in London.
A subtle and sophisticated portrait of Brazilian migrants, this book shows the routes through which Brazilian roots make their way to London and give rise to a diverse community of transnationals, challenging the simplistic unifying concept of ’the migrant’, or even ’the Brazilian migrant'.
In this sensitive ethnography Martins-Junior unpacks ‘the migrant’ using their own voices. The result is a subtle and sophisticated portrait of social differences on the move."
— Caroline Knowles, Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London
"This lucid and captivating ethnography of the disparate journeys, everyday experiences, and worldviews of Brazilians in London provides a powerful antidote to works that treat "migrants" and "migrant communities" as homogenous groups, defined by their migrancy and/or shared nationality. Through its focus on the many-layered significations and consequences of the social differences that move with Brazilians, the book offers a unique insight into lives lived simultaneously ‘here’ in Europe and ‘there’ in Brazil, and in a present structured by the past of European colonisation and slavery, and the inequalities of class, ‘race’, region and gender it produced. Moving Difference makes a novel and exciting contribution to the study of migration and mobility."
— Bridget Anderson, Professor of Migration, Mobilities and Citizenship, University of Bristol
"Angelo Martins Junior's ethnography is woven from the lives of people who are pressed by two ideals. On the one hand, the ideal of a cosmopolitan project, in its different formulations (the republic and/or multiculturalist ideals, above all, but also the post and decolonial ‘cosmopolitan ideals’). Crossing global North and South, this ideal seduces millions of ‘mobile people’ across the planet. On the other hand, the ideal of the community, be it a national, ethnic, racial, cultural, gender and/or sexuality community, which would offer them the comfort of ‘having roots’ and a sense of belonging. Navigating through these ideals, migrants are the prototype of the modern Simmelian subject, launched to solve the equality-difference equation, a political equation, inscribed in their bodies and minds, in their ‘personhoods’. Hence emancipation, suffering, overcoming and exploitation all emerge from the lives described in this book, highlighting how wealth and misery arise on, and is lived in, a global and local scale. What moves this magnificent book also moves the most ‘burning problems’ of contemporary times: living (moving) differences."
— Gabriel Feltran, Professor of Sociology and Urban Ethnographer, Federal University of São Carlos (UFScar/Brazil)
1. Arriving and Settling in London: Difference in Motion
2. The Law and its Others
3. Negotiating ‘Culture’ and Racism
4. (Re)making Class Differences in London
5. ‘The Migrant’ and the Boundaries of ‘Community’
6. Moving Regional Differences to London
7. Here and There
Ethnography is a celebrated, if contested, research methodology that offers unprecedented access to people's intimate lives, their often hidden social worlds and the meanings they attach to these. The intensity of ethnographic fieldwork often makes considerable personal and emotional demands on the researcher, while the final product is a vivid human document with personal resonance impossible to recreate by the application of any other social science methodology. This series aims to highlight the best, most innovative ethnographic work available from both new and established scholars.