1st Edition

Power in the Village
Social Networks, Honor and Justice among Immigrant Families from Italy to Brazil

ISBN 9780367025175
Published May 28, 2020 by Routledge
260 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Power in the Village explores the formation of late-nineteenth-century Italian rural society in southern Brazil, through an examination of how Italian peasants in northern Italy and southern Brazil solved issues related to family honor.

Looking specifically at social networks and justice practices to examine the kind of rationality that ruled individual and family behaviors, the book offers an understanding of the restoration of social balance in these communities, and explores the culture of immigrants, particularly in issues related to honor and morality. Taking as a case study the ambush and murder of a parish priest, Antonio Sorio, in January 1900 in Silveira Martins, a small town of Italian immigrants, Vendrame offers a reinterpretation of the society of Italian immigrants in southern Brazil. She argues that rather than being an idyllic picture of a homogeneous and harmonious society, the colonial settlements were places pervaded by tension, solidarity and self-interest, which guided individual and collective behavior.

This book will be of great interest to scholars working in Italian history, Brazilian history, immigration history and the history of colonialism. It will also be of interest to scholars working on ethnographic and religious history, as well as to social anthropologists.

Table of Contents


1. Versions of a tragedy

2. The trajectory of an "ambitious" peasant

3. On both sides of the Atlantic: family strategies and migratory networks

4. Networks of Compadrio

5. Don Antonio Sorio and his authority

6. Family matters: honor and reparation

7. Winds of vengeance

Final Considerations


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Maíra Ines Vendrame is Professor of History at the University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS), Brazil. She is the author of two books and several articles on Italian immigration to Southern Brazil. She was the winner of the fourth Vanni Blengino Award, Italy, 2015 (AREIA international award) with the text: "Offenses, reparations and community control: the justice of Italian immigrants in the colonial nuclei of southern Brazil" and in 2015 she received the ANPUH-RS thesis award. Her research interests include social networks and migratory strategies, family, honor, justice practices, criminality, women, community organization, religiosity and popular culture.