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The Theoretical Approaches
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Sociocultural remittances in the form of ideas, behaviors, values, and financial remittances are important aspects of the migration process, as they are exchanged back-and-forth, challenging our notions of formal borders. The theoretical lens of Tran nationalism provides the context in which Vibram FiveFingers these exchanges occur, where "movement and attachment is not linear or sequential, but capable of rotating back and forth and changing direction over time" (Levitt 2004, p. 3).
Sociocultural syncretism occurs as new Brazilian identities are shaped both outside and inside Brazil, (re)creating and (re)producing elements directly emanating from the migration experience. Consumer goods are exchanged and sold, and consumer values and markets increasingly affect cultural perceptions and behaviors, ranging from consumer preferences in fashion to music and even eating habits. As Margaret Walton-Roberts states, "geographers are eminently positioned to make a contribution but have been slow to develop an explicitly transnational focus". Two geographers have inspired the theoretical and methodological backdrop of this paper. Wilbur Zelinsky has written about the lack of disciplinary emphasis placed on outdoor geographical research fieldwork in recent years, and about certain quantitative researchers who "gave fieldwork the shortest of short shrifts" (2001, p. 3). He attributed the central importance of outdoor fieldwork research to the way: "We soak in the strange new soundscapes, the exotic smellscape; we sense temperatures, humidity, breezes, and vibrations as well as qualities of light and shadow; we sample whatever is Five Fingers KSO safely testable and touchable" (2001, p. 6). Additionally, Karl B. Raitz has proposed that micro-level analyses are necessary to increase our understandings about ethnic groups on many levels. He explains:
If geographers are to bring fresh answers to the questions of ethnic economic success, acculturation and assimilation, settlement location and stability, and cultural transfer, there must be more studies at the local or micro scale. Micro-level studies are required not only to increase our knowledge of ethnic behavior but also to examine more carefully the significance of intergroup differences as they pertain to the contributions of ethnic groups to American cultural patterns. (1979, p. 94) Following these propositions by Raitz and Zelinsky, I evaluate Brazilian migration processes through fieldwork research, and the lens of a cultural geographer. In this vein, my outdoor fieldwork research conducted in two countries helps to highlight the multi-dimensional processes discussed throughout this paper.
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