Chains of Gold

Portuguese Migration to Argentina in Transatlantic Perspective


Why did migrants from southern Portugal choose Argentina instead of following the traditional path to Brazil? Starting with this question, this book explores how, at the turn of the twentieth century, rural Europeans developed distinctive circuits of transatlantic labor migration linked to diverse immigrant communities in the Americas. It looks at transoceanic moves in the larger context of migration systems, examining their connections and the crucial role of social networks in migrants’ geographic mobility and adaptation. Combining regional and local perspectives on both sides of the Atlantic, Chains of Gold provides a vivid account of the trajectories of migrant men and women as they moved from rural Portugal to contrasting places of settlement in the Argentine pampas and Patagonia.


EUR €130.00USD $161.00

Biographical Note

Marcelo J. Borges, Ph.D. (1997) in History, Rutgers University, is Associate Professor of History at Dickinson College. He has published extensively on migration history in the Americas and Europe.

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps, Tables and Figures
List of Abbreviations

1. Maria vai com as outras (Monkey See, Monkey Do)
Portuguese Migration in Argentina
Regional Flows and Local Networks
Spatial Distribution and Immigrant Communities

2. Migration in Context: Society, Economy, and Population in Rural Algarve
The Land and Its Uses
Rural Life and Migration in Two Algarvian Parishes
Population and Space
Social Groups
Domestic Groups
Migration as a Family Strategy
Demography and Emigration

3. Regional Patterns of Migration: A Systems Approach
Migration Systems
A Systems Approach to Algarvian Migrations
The Algarve and the Southern Iberia Migration System
Southern Spain and Alentejo
Other Circuits of Medium-distance Migration
The Algarve and the Atlantic Migration System
Causes, Continuities, and Changes
Information and Perceptions
Transatlantic Destinations
Portuguese Africa: The Colonial Path
Fazer a América: Destination Selection

4. Chains of Gold: Migratory Networks in Two Portuguese Immigrant Communities
Oil Camps and Suburban Gardens: Portuguese Migrants in Two Contrasting Receiving Societies
Comodoro Rivadavia: The Making of an Oil Town
Villa Elisa: From Bourgeois Retreat to Family Gardening
The Dynamics of Chain Migration
Forging the Chains: Origins and Social Spaces
Phases: Pioneers, Migrant Workers, and Families
Comodoro Rivadavia
Villa Elisa
Os esquecidos: The Broken Links of Chain Migration
Chain Migration and Ethnic Middlemen

5. Making a Living and Making a Life: Economic and Social Adaptation
Making a Living
Black El Dorado: Working in Comodoro Rivadavia
Women and Work
Gigantic Gardens of Flowers: Working in Villa Elisa
A Family Affair: Generations and Gender
Social Networks and Occupational Chains
Making a Life: Marriage Patterns
Old and New Social Ties
Social and Ethnic Life

Bibliography and Sources


Readers interested in social history and historical sociology; labor history; world and transnational history; migration, ethnic and diaspora studies; history of Latin America, southern Europe, and the Atlantic World.


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