Author Date


Degree Name





Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Desiree Oliveira

First Faculty Reader

April Reber

Honors Coordinator

Rex Nielson


brazilian identity, brazilian-american, surrogate identity


The purpose of this study is to better understand how first-generation Brazilian immigrants to Utah’s Salt Lake and Utah Valleys perceive, preserve, and transmit their identity. With this purpose in mind, I hope to add to the previous studies and discussion of identity in the Brazilian diaspora in the United States. The study focuses on the question: How do first-generation Brazilians living in Utah and Salt Lake Valleys perceive their own identities? Additionally, it seeks to answer the following subquestions: How is identity preserved among first-generation Brazilian immigrants to Utah and Salt Lake Valleys and where and how is identity transmitted from first-generation Brazilians to second-generation Brazilians in Utah and Salt Lake Valleys? Working with local Brazilian businesses, cultural groups, families, and individuals, I collected data through a variety of ethnographic methods including participant observation, semi-structured interviews, mapping, sonic recordings, photo, video, and media usage. I then used thematic qualitative data analysis methods, finding that first-generation Brazilian immigrants to Utah and Salt Lake Valleys see themselves as Brazilian and not Brazilian. The results show how identity is fluid and complex, add to previous studies of Brazilian identity, and discuss the role of host communities and surrogate identities.