The University of Wisconsin Press

Latin American Studies / Anthropology / Immigration Studies

Goodbye, Brazil
Émigrés from the Land of Soccer and Samba
Maxine L. Margolis

“Articulate and thorough in considering the reasons so many Brazilians have left their country, the diverse challenges and obstacles that different kinds of Brazilians face when they move abroad, and the cultural and social adaptations that occur as they seek a better life in their host countries or return to Brazil.”
—James N. Green, author of We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States

Brazil, a country that has always received immigrants, only rarely saw its own citizens move abroad. Beginning in the late 1980s, however, thousands of Brazilians left for the United States, Japan, Portugal, Italy, and other nations, propelled by a series of intense economic crises. By 2009 an estimated three million Brazilians were living abroad—about 40 percent of them in the United States.

Goodbye, Brazil is the first book to provide a global perspective on Brazilian emigration. Drawing and synthesizing data from a host of sociological and anthropological studies, preeminent Brazilian immigration scholar Maxine L. Margolis surveys and analyzes this greatly expanded Brazilian diaspora, asking who these immigrants are, why they left home, how they traveled abroad, how the Brazilian government responded to their exodus, and how their host countries received them. Margolis shows how Brazilian immigrants, largely from the middle rungs of Brazilian society, have negotiated their ethnic identity outside Brazil. She argues that Brazilian society abroad is characterized by the absence of well-developed, community-based institutions—with the exception of thriving, largely evangelical Brazilian churches.

Margolis looks to the future as well, asking what prospects at home and abroad await the new generation, children of Brazilian immigrants with little or no familiarity with their parents' country of origin. Do Brazilian immigrants develop such deep roots in their host societies that they hesitate to return home despite Brazil's recent economic boom—or have they become true transnationals, traveling between Brazil and their adopted lands but feeling not quite at home in either one?

Maxine L. Margolis
is professor emerita of anthropology at the University of Florida and adjunct senior research scholar at the Institute for Latin American Studies at Columbia University. She is the author of Little Brazil: An Ethnography of Brazilian Immigrants in New York City, True to Her Nature: Changing Advice to American Women, and An Invisible Minority: Brazilians in New York City. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Of Related Interest:
Almost Home
A Brazilian American's Reflections on Faith, Culture, and Immigration
H. B. Cavalcanti
“Almost Home seamlessly weaves a narrative of history, sociology, and autobiography and opens the door to an entirely new genre to the study of American immigration. . . . A must-read book.”—James Olson, author of The Ethnic Dimension in American History

June 2013
LC: 2012032684 F
308 pp.   6 x 9   7 tables

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“A significant, unique contribution to our understanding of recent and contemporary transnational migration, diasporas, and the mechanics of globalization.”
—Conrad Kottak, author of Assault on Paradise: The Globalization of a Little Community in Brazil


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Updated July 12, 2013

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