Histórias de vida: um estudo intercultural acerca da languaculture de um grupo de imigrantes missionários cristãos na terceira idade

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Universidade Federal de Goiás


This intercultural study is about a group of Christian immigrant missionaries and their languaculture. The group consists of six people whose ages range from 67 to 89 years. The participants, in their youth, decided to leave their home countries (The United States of America and Germany) and immigrate to Brazil in order to dedicate their lives to religion as Christian missionaries, specifically to Franciscan Roman Catholicism and Evangelical Protestantism. After decades of dedication to missionary work in Brazilian territories, the missionaries chose not to return to their homeland, fixing their residency in the states of Goiás and Tocantins. As a main objective, this study aims to identify and analyze, through narratives of the participants’ life stories, cultural meanings attributed to their immigration to Brazil, their second language acquisition, and their insertion of religious discourse in their daily practices. In order to achieve the objective that guides this study, we used narrative theories emphasizing the main characteristics and the relevance to intercultural studies (BOSI, 1994; BRUNER, 2001; HALL, 2012; MATOS, 2001; THOMPSON, 1992). We also used theories that discuss language and culture and that focus on social and cultural constructs (CORBETT, 2003; HALL, 2012; RISAGER, 2005, 2006; SPENCER-OATEY; FRANKLIN, 2009). We also used other sciences that have brought major contributions to the analysis of data, like Chaui’s (1997) philosophical studies. Data show that human beings are subjects under construction and all their actions carry cultural meanings that can be understood if we take into consideration the historical and social context in which the subject was or is inserted. Data also show that human life has a cyclical nature (CAMPBELL, 1949), that is, we are all encouraged to live an adventure that is to find someone more experienced or a situation that forces us to make a decision and accept the call to adventure, pass through the threshold which leads us from our common world to the world of adventure, confront the challenges in the world of adventure, get our reward, go back to our common world until the moment we again meet something or someone that leads us to start a new adventure, which one in turn will bring us new challenges to be overcome. In the case of the participants of the study, the adventure began from the moment they decided to become missionary immigrants in Brazil. As a result of that choice, the participants had to deal with and overcome the greatest of challenges: dealing with linguistic and cultural diversity with the “help of the supernatural” (CAMPBELL, 1949), which consists of the missionaries’ faith in an omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent God.



SILVA, A. G. Histórias de vida: um estudo intercultural acerca da languaculture de um grupo de imigrantes missionários cristãos na terceira idade. 2016. 208 f. Tese (Doutorado em Letras e Linguística) - Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, 2016.