Experiences that intertwine… Lives that are built: Narratives of an immigrant
AbstractThe present research aims to analyze the social construction of subjectivity, as regarding the means of living through and interpreting social relations, and attributing meaning to individual or collective practices. The point of departure is Josef Umann’s autobiography: “Memories of a Bohemian Immigrant”. The narrative consists on the author’s experiences as a young man, his emigration from south Bohemia to south Brazil and his role on foundation of a new community: the colony of Santa Cecilia, situated in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The struggle for better work conditions and wages in the factories, – as well as the contact with socialist ideologies – lead Umann to (re)elaborate his own representations and meanings for social freedom- which could only be attained outside the factory. The emigration becomes, thus, the vehicle to the formation of a new setting – a novel ambience in which land, labor, freedom and even reciprocity, itself, are re-signified by the immigrant’s agency, becoming the core values of their "new" homeland’s way of life.
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