Intersections of social networks and state policy : Brazilian migration to Japan and the United States



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This research provides a portrait of two Brazilian migration flows, comparing the socio-demographic composition of migrants in a legally regulated guest worker program, in migration from Maringá, Brazil to Japan, and a largely unauthorized flow, from Criciúma, Brazil to the United States. Describing selectivity and social dynamics over time in the two migration flows, the study ultimately shows that though social networks operating in each flow, among other factors, allow for the diversification of migrant composition over time, destination country policies, as intervening obstacles, also play a part in influencing migrant composition. State policies influence the shape, intensity, and direction of migratory movements. Thus, the thesis critiques social network theory and the transnational approach to international migration by emphasizing the importance of the state as an actor in organizing and even inducing migration flows.