Power in the Village: Social Networks, Honor and Justice among Immigrant Families from Italy to Brazil, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Power in the Village

Social Networks, Honor and Justice among Immigrant Families from Italy to Brazil, 1st Edition

By Maíra Ines Vendrame


304 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367025175
pub: 2020-05-07
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Power in the Village explores the formation of Italian rural society in southern Brazil from the late nineteenth century 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 Sório, 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. Rather than being an idyllic picture of an homogeneous and harmonious society, she argues that 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


About the Author

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 in Southern Brazil. She was the winner of the fouth 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.

About the Series


Microhistories is open to books employing different microhistorical approaches. Global microhistories aimed at grasping world-wide connections in local research, social history trying to find determining historical structures through a micro-analysis and cultural history in the form of microhistories that relate directly to large or small scale historical contexts are equally welcome. We will also publish interesting stories, bringing the everyday life and culture of common people of the past close to the readers, without the aspiration of finding answers to general "big questions" or relating them to the grand narratives of history. In other worlds, we plan to have the quality of the manuscript deciding its fate. The series is open to publishing both theoretical and empirical works. It is, indeed, often hard to separate the two, especially in microhistory. However, our main focus will be on empirical monographs which are likely to communicate stories from the past which will capture the imagination of our readers. The geographical scope of the series is global and so non- European works or those which cross territorial boundaries are welcome. Any scholar who wishes to contribute to the series will be asked to make sure that they address important issues that can be researched with the methods of microhistory.

For more information about the series and the proposal process, please contact the series editors, Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon ([email protected]) and István M. Szijártó ([email protected]).

The members of the editorial board are the following scholars: Andrew Bergerson, Simona Cerutti, Chuanfei Chin, Dagmar Freist, Carlo Ginzburg, Binne de Haan, Karl Jacoby, Giovanni Levi, Edward Muir, Matti Peltonen, Hans Renders, Jacques Revel, and Dana Sajdi.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Italy
HISTORY / Latin America / General
HISTORY / Social History