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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52696
Doc. No:TL22650
Call number:‭3288178‬
Main Entry:Sofia D. Martos
Title & Author:The balancing act: Ethnicity, commerce, and politics among Syrian and Lebanese immigrants in Argentina, 1890–1955Sofia D. Martos
College:University of California, Los Angeles
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:456
Abstract:Middle Eastern immigrants have established communities across Latin America that, although varying in size, seem to have shared a remarkable degree of economic, and, eventually, political success. Today, the descendants of these Middle Eastern immigrants are concentrated in the middle and upper classes, a striking contrast with the status and wealth their families possessed upon arrival. In Argentina, as opposed to other European immigrant groups, the Syrian and Lebanese community arrived with relatively little human and liquid capital. Their migratory flow also began later, once xenophobia had risen in Argentina, which contributed to their discrimination in the early twentieth century. What factors, then, explain how a seemingly more disadvantaged immigrant group could achieve both commercial and political success within one or two generations? This dissertation—a historical and sociological study of the Syrian and Lebanese community in Córdoba, Argentina, between 1890 and 1955—argues that the answer lies in their balancing act. Syrian and Lebanese immigrants utilized and nurtured their village and ethnic networks, but did not appear to be doing so. In contrast with groups who worked largely in factories or in agriculture (such as Italians in Buenos Aires and New York) or groups that were dominant in their region (e.g., Cubans in Miami), their livelihood in commerce and in politics was dependent on their appeal to the local community. Being perceived as a closed or clannish group would have had detrimental effects (as it did for the Lebanese in West Africa). Intentionally or not, the Syrian and Lebanese community camouflaged the source of their success: their network. Thus, the invisibility of their network, in addition to their pattern of migration and opportunities in the Argentine milieu, allowed for the Syrian and Lebanese to develop a reputation of assimilation and reap the benefits of integration (wealth, entry into politics, lessening of discrimination, higher social status), while at the same time they enjoyed the advantages of ethnic ties. My sources are both quantitative and qualitative, and include census manuscripts, an immigrant database, interviews, newspapers and magazine articles, mutual-aid society records, court cases, and diplomatic papers.
Subject:Social sciences; Argentina; Commerce; Ethnicity; Immigrants; Lebanese; Politics; Syrian; Middle Eastern history; Latin American history; Minority & ethnic groups; Sociology; 0336:Latin American history; 0631:Sociology; 0333:Middle Eastern history; 0631:Minority & ethnic groups
Added Entry:J. C. Moya
Added Entry:University of California, Los Angeles