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Goodbye, Brazil

Émigrés from the Land of Soccer and Samba

Maxine L. Margolis

Publication Year: 2013

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, an issue with which they had no prior experience. She argues that Brazilian society outside Brazil 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? Goodbye, Brazil tells the expansive tale of Brazilians leaving their patria amada (beloved nation) for an uncertain future and, in the process, staking their claim as a presence on the global stage.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quote

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

List of Tables

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pp. ix-x

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xviii

In 1964, the famed Brazilian sociologist Fernando Henrique Cardoso was forced to flee Brazil for Chile and, later, France as military authorities, who had led a coup against the duly elected Brazilian government that year, began breathing down his neck. Fernando Henrique, who later became a two-term president of Brazil, ...

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1. The Boys (and Girls) from Brazil

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pp. 3-15

It is Sunday, September 6, 2009, and the twenty-fifth annual Brazil Day Street Fair commemorating Brazilian Independence Day on September 7 is in full swing on Little Brazil Street and on adjacent thoroughfares in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Brazilian flags are strung across West Forty-Sixth Street, and large “Visit Brazil” signs loom overhead; ...

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2. Why They Go

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pp. 16-42

Brazilians rarely talk about “emigrating” or say that a friend or relative “is working in another country.” Rather, they say that “he [or she] is living in another country” or that a friend or relative is “doing America” (fazendo América). For some Brazilian families, having a relative in the United States is considered “chic,” a sign of status. ...

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3. Who They Are

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pp. 43-60

In the previous chapter I mentioned that improvements in the Brazilian economy have not yet been sufficient to create enough jobs with good wages to secure well-educated Brazilians to their homeland. But are all Brazilian immigrants well educated? ...

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4. How They Arrive

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pp. 61-75

In recent years, many Brazilian immigrants coming to the United States entered the country by crossing over the border from Mexico, a decidedly dangerous and costly route. For some immigrants, securing a tourist visa to the United States has always been difficult, ...

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5. “Doing America”: Big Cities and Small

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pp. 76-102

This chapter looks at the specific locations of brazucas in North America. “Brazuca” is a slang term for “Brazilian,” but it has come to have the more specific meaning of Brazilians living abroad, especially those who have immigrated to the United States. At any given moment, approximately three million Brazilians are abroad; ...

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6. Other Destinations: Europe, England, and the Republic of Ireland

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pp. 103-120

Just how many Brazilians are there in various European nations, in England, and in the Republic of Ireland? As in the United States numbers are illusive because many Brazilians are in their host countries illegally. Still, estimates exist, such as the one published by Itamaraty, Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2011 (table 5). ...

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7. Other Destinations: Pacific Bound

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pp. 121-137

The largest Brazilian population in the Pacific region by far is in Japan. In contrast to what happened in Europe, there is no evidence that the number of Brazilians going to Japan increased after September 11, 2001, in response to the strictures placed on immigration to the United States. ...

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8. Other Destinations: And for the Poor

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pp. 138-150

A wave of emigration distinct from that previously described has been taking place over the past four decades as immigrants from Brazil have been moving to adjacent nations in South America. These figures in table 7 provide some sense of the size and scope of this exodus. ...

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9. Quintessential Emigrants: Valadarenses

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pp. 151-166

Governador Valadares is a quintessential emigrant-sending community. This town of some 260,000 persons, located three hundred kilometers northeast of Belo Horizonte, is also the regional economic center of eastern and northeastern Minas Gerais and the neighboring state of Espírito Santo. ...

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10. Faith and Community: Ties That Bind?

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pp. 167-184

The church is like my mother’s house” (A igreja é como a casa da minha mãe), declared a Brazilian immigrant living in Florida. Churches in some Brazilian communities in the United States, including those in the Atlanta area and in south Florida, have become important refuges for Brazilians fearing arrest and deportation. ...

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11. What Does It Mean to Be Brazilian?

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pp. 185-202

The Brazilian anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro ([1995] 2000), as noted earlier, opined that “the Brazilian people see themselves as unique, as singular,” which explains how difficult it is for Brazilians to accept inclusion in any other ethnic or cultural group. Brazilians insist on keeping their unique identity—and some might add superiority—in many dimensions, both at home and abroad. ...

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12. Here Today and Gone Tomorrow?

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pp. 203-232

What does the future hold for contemporary Brazilian immigrants and the next and subsequent generations of Brazilians outside Brazil? There are many factors involved in the decision to stay abroad or to return home. In the United States, one “push” toward home is the anemic condition of the American economy, including the unemployment rate, ...


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pp. 233-238


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pp. 239-272


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pp. 273-289

E-ISBN-13: 9780299293031
E-ISBN-10: 0299293033
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299293048
Print-ISBN-10: 0299293041

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 7 tables
Publication Year: 2013