Brazilian Long-Term Migrant Women in Japan. Work, Family and Subjectivities

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 3:05 PM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Yumi GARCIA DOS SANTOS , Sociology, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
This paper aims to present the first results of research initiated in January 2013 about Brazilian women migrant in Japan. Japan has accepted Brazilians of Japanese filiation and their spouses as labor force for over twenty years. The Brazilian community in Japan remains the third largest foreign community (population of just over 210,000 in 2012) in that country. If studies of the Brazilian community in Japan is now abundant in both countries, a sensitive analysis of gender relations in migration context is still incipient. Women’s role in the migration process is often naturalized as complementary to male migration. However, studies of social and historical approach indicate that decisions to emigrate depart often from women, married or single, breaking with the classical view of the history of migrations that has been male centered (Rogerat, 1996; Morokvasic, 2005). Thus, we would like to show women’s agency in migration process in Brazilian women’s case. What is the objective and the subjective reasons to leave the country? Secondly, once in the country, what are the specific issues that those women face daily as immigrants, in the public and private spheres? How gender arrangement is done in terms of domestic work and child education? How they organize their everyday life as well as their emotional aspects as (foreign) workers, wives and mothers, specially when their residence in the foreign country became durable (contrary to their initial project)? Our analysis will be based mainly on qualitative research conducted with six Brazilian women, of Japanese origin or not, who live in Japan in a long-term period (about twenty years).