IDENTIFYING THE DETERMINANTS OF BRAZILIAN MIGRATION TO AND FROM IRELAND: A MICRO-LEVEL CROSS-COUNTRY ANALYSIS
Citation:Alves De Farias, Nivelton, IDENTIFYING THE DETERMINANTS OF BRAZILIAN MIGRATION TO AND FROM IRELAND: A MICRO-LEVEL CROSS-COUNTRY ANALYSIS, Trinity College Dublin.School of Natural Sciences, 2022
Brazilian migration since the 1990s has given rise to what is now the largest non-EU immigrant group residing in Ireland (CSO, 2016). However, the determinants of Brazilian migration to Ireland have been considered only by one study to date (Dalsin, 2016), which examines the determinants of migration of middle-class Brazilians to Dublin. This study, on the contrary, focuses on and examines practices of labour migration from an urban to a rural location Anápolis, in Goiás, Brazil, to Gort, in County Galway, Ireland. Despite the almost 20 years of Brazilian migration to Gort and a handful of relevant academic studies carried out over this period, there continue to be significant gaps in the literature. Firstly, there exists a lack of in-depth research into why and how Brazilians originally migrated to this part of Ireland, especially from the origin community perspective. Secondly, the determinants of this specific form of labour migration have not been investigated in the literature, neither in Ireland nor elsewhere. Thirdly, the approach of combining origin and receiving contexts in a study and including multiple social actors (individual, family, and community) is limited in migration studies. Fourthly, previous related research has argued that the only main determinants of this migration were (1) the closure of a meat processing plant in Anápolis in the late 1990s, and (2) the demand for labour in the West of Ireland (Healy, 2006; Sheringham, 2009; McGrath, 2010; Maher and Cawley, 2016). Although relevant to explain the beginning of this migratory flow, these macro-dimensions cannot explain both the migratory determinants of late arrivals and the mechanisms that perpetuated Brazilian migratory flow to Gort over two decades. In addressing these gaps, this study also explores the processes underpinning the recent dramatic decline in the number of Brazilians in Gort. The literature observes a lack of understanding of this demographic shift (Maher, 2013; Maher and Cawley, 2016). While Ireland's 2008 economic downturn is considered a contributing factor (see Ruhs and Quinn, 2009; Fanning, 2016), this alone does not adequately explain the pace and volume of the Brazilian decline in Gort. It is not yet understood who left and why, where they went, who subsequently returned to Ireland and why. Besides, the impact (economic, social, political, and cultural) of this migration on the original community in Anápolis has never been explored. This study consequently sought to address these gaps. The methodological design is based on an inductive qualitative approach. In migration research, qualitative research is necessary to provide deeper understandings of both the individuals and communities involved (Castles 2012: 21). This qualitative study was carried out using a case study methodology with a constructivist approach, according to which social phenomena are not produced only through social interaction but are in a constant state of revision (Bryman, 2008; 2012). The sample was constructed using three non-probabilistic sampling techniques: convenience, snowball and intentional sampling. The study's fieldwork lasted five months, between May and September 2018. During this period, 85 individuals were interviewed, of which 45 were collected in Gort (Ireland) and 40 in Anápolis (Brazil). The study also involved a questionnaire completed by the 85 participants. The study adopted a multi-method qualitative approach, including the use of in-depth interviews, informative questionnaires and participant observation. Data were analysed using a qualitative reflective approach (QRA) (O Leary, 2010), which requires being as close as possible to the data - from the initial collection to drawing conclusions. The study drew on a theoretical framework developed from neoclassical economics (NE), the new economics of labour migration (NELM), network theory, transnationalism and translocal theories to examine the determinants of Brazilian migration to and from Gort. This study revealed that Brazilian migration from Anápolis to Gort is not only engendered and sustained over time and space by economic determinants related to the labour market, but also by capital and credit market determinants, which is consistent with both NE and NELM. The collected data, however, also evidence that this migration flow is the result of non-economic socio-cultural determinants related to (1) family, relationships, and sexuality, (2) lifestyle dynamics and feelings of nostalgia and longing for Ireland, (3) unsafe urban conditions and a failing political system in Brazil, (4) religion and religious missions, and (5) health and wellbeing. These findings fall partly outside of the theoretical approaches outlined above, except for family migration which is largely in line with NE. Moreover, the results suggest that Brazilian migrants in Gort are heterogeneous in their migration motivations, demonstrating the need for closer attention to other types of migration beyond labour migration. The study also reveals that the return migration of Brazilian migrants from Gort to Anápolis was underpinned by a variety of context-related factors of both the host and origin region contexts and was more heavily influenced by non-economic factors than economic factors. The most important non-economic determinants were related to (1) care needs both giving and receiving, (2) family and relationships, (3) fear and loss, (4) sense of place, attachment, and identity, (5) legal constraints, and (6) unpleasant climate; whereas the economic determinants were related to (7) the economic recession (Ireland) and job opportunities (Brazil), (8) the accomplishment of migration goals and return for retirement, and (9) difficulties in accessing third-level education in Ireland. Although the findings broadly support previous empirical literature, they were only partially consistent with the migration theories informing the study, thus showing that return migration determinants may be more diverse and complex than previously thought and that competing theories might therefore be partly complementary (see Constant and Massey, 2002; de Haas et al., 2015).
Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
Author: Alves De Farias, Nivelton
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin. School of Natural Sciences. Discipline of Geography
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available