Becoming Nordic in Brazil: Whiteness and Icelandic Heritage in Brazilian Identity Making

Kristín Loftsdóttir, Eyrún Eyþórsdóttir, Margaret Willson
2021 Nordic Journal of Migration Research  
In this article, we focus on whiteness as an historically shifting phenomenon by analysing Brazilian recent emphasis on Icelandic ancestry, demonstrating the intersection of whiteness, class and ethnicity. A small group of Icelanders were among the millions migrating to Brazil around the latter half of the nineteenth century. The Icelandic migrants did not emphasise their Icelandic identity but affiliated themselves with Germans and other favoured immigrant groups. More than 130 years later, a
more » ... roup of Brazilians of Icelandic descent founded the Iceland Brazil Association to celebrate the Icelandic part of their ancestry. Since then, both their membership and interest in Iceland have grown. We ask how this emphasis on Icelandic ancestry intersects with an increased reification of Icelandic identity as 'white' identity. The discussion shows that the emphasis on Icelandic ethnic markers is new in Brazil and needs to be understood within the theorisation of Brazilian national and racialised identity.
doi:10.33134/njmr.403 fatcat:6vs2crowmjbonjg45jmeswwmre