Putting Rungs on the Ladder: Portuguese Emigration, Return Migration and the Restructuring of Northern Rural Society

Julianna Acheson
Anthropology, The University of Arizona - UNITED STATES, 1990
May, 1990
Master's thesis


This thesis examines the impact of emigration and return migration on sending communities of northwestern Portugal. Literature about recent trends in Portuguese emigration to central Europe is reviewed. Historical, political, economic and social factors are considered "push" and "pull" forces for both emigration and return migration. I demonstrate that emigration has resulted in altering the traditional social structure. I argue there are two cohort groups, first and second generation emigrants, which have different economic interests and which must be treated differently by policy makers concerned with agriculture. This thesis also contributes to the dialogue about the World systems Paradigm by demonstrating that emigration to a "core" has long term, substantial gains for the "periphery".