AbstractsPolitical Science


Based on ethnographic field research conducted in the summer of 2014, this thesis explores how Bolivian migrants garner rights and recognition in São Paulo, Brazil. By performing a Bolivian ethnonational identity in São Paulo public space, migrants reflect municipal government priorities of social inclusion and multiculturalism to emerge as meritorious citizens. Alongside cultural displays, migrants leverage new institutional channels of political participation to negotiate their relationship with São Paulo municipal and Bolivian state representatives. Chapter One explores the two dominant spaces associated with Bolivian migration in São Paulo – the garment workshop and the weekly ethnic market of Praça Kantuta. Chapter Two analyzes the intersection between Bolivian cultural celebrations and migrant political agendas. Through the ethnic market and cultural celebrations, Bolivian migrant elites emerge as representatives of a Bolivian collectivity, paper over intra-community class dynamics, and divert attention from exploitative labor practices in the garment industry. Chapter Three analyzes emigrant claims-making of Bolivian state representatives following the extension of emigrant voting rights in the 2009 Constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.