First Advisor

Martha Works

Term of Graduation

Spring 2009

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography






Urban renewal -- Massachusetts – Framingham, Framingham (Mass.) -- Emigration and immigration -- Social aspects, Brazilian Americans -- Massachusetts -- Framingham -- Ethnic identity, Brazilian Americans -- Massachusetts -- Framingham -- Social conditions, Brazilian Americans -- Massachusetts -- Framingham -- Economic conditions, Immigrants -- Massachusetts -- Framingham -- Social conditions



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vii, 105 pages)


Over the past thirty years, Massachusetts has become a hub of Brazilian immigration. Within Massachusetts, the town of Framingham has the highest concentration of Brazilian residents; one census tract in the southern part of this Boston suburb is an astounding 57.4 percent Brazilian. The presence of the Brazilian population in downtown Framingham, also referred to as South Framingham, has transformed the area into a landscape of Brazilian ethnicity.

When Brazilians began arriving in South Framingham in the early 1980s, the downtown Central Business District was a blighted landscape. This thesis analyzes how Brazilian identities have become imprinted on the landscape of South Framingham and, in the process, how Brazilian business owners revitalized downtown. Starting with initial Brazilian immigration to Framingham, I present a chronological analysis of how the area developed into an ethnic enclave and, most recently, how the area has become a landscape of ethnic contention. While Brazilian immigrants have improved the economic vitality of South Framingham, the current economic recession and other local factors may diminish the future success of Brazilian business owners and, consequently, their visibility in the landscape of downtown Framingham.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Geography Commons