Brazil, a country that has always received immigrants, only rarely saw its own citizen’s 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.
On May 31, the Brazil Institute will host a conversation with the with author Maxine L. Margolis, professor emerita of anthropology at the University of Florida and adjunct senior research scholar at the Institute for Latin American Studies at Columbia University. A pioneer in the research on Brazilian immigration, Professor Margolis synthesizes data from sociological and anthropological studies and analyzes this greatly expanded Brazilian diaspora. Goodbye, Brazil examines how Brazilian immigrants, largely from the middle rungs of Brazilian society, have negotiated their ethnic identity outside Brazil. Who are they? Why have they left their home? How has the Brazilian government responded to their exodus? Margolis 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.