Ethnic Issues in Brazil Analytical Essay by scribbler

Ethnic Issues in Brazil
An examination of the impact of race, ethnicity and skin color on the Brazilian nation.
# 153491 | 2,183 words | 9 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Jun 06, 2013 in Ethnic Studies (South American) , Hot Topics (Affirmative Action)

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This paper reviews the literature on the history and dynamics of this multi-ethnic, multi-racial South American nation and finds that racist theories imported from Europe helped shape attitudes in Brazil regarding the superiority of white skin. The paper compares ethnic and racial data in Brazil with those data in the United States and highlights the similarities in the circumstances facing black Brazilian and black American women. The paper reviews the impact of affirmative action programs on minority education in both countries and highlights the racism, discrimination and social exclusion of black people in Brazil. The paper clearly shows how Brazil is a country where "whiteness" lends a degree of respect, economically, culturally and politically.

Racism is Learned, Justified, and Reinforced
Comparisons - U.S. and Brazil - in Racial Dynamics
Brazil and Whiteness

From the Paper:

"According to author Benjamin P. Bowser, racism is "a historic and cultural belief (in one race's inferiority and in another's superiority) that has been used by national elites" in order to continue a kind of "social stratification" that leans in their favor (Bowser, 1995, p. 285). Racism has been "very useful" in "obscuring economic class interests by keeping opposing racial identities more important than class differenced," Bowser writes (285). Moreover, racism provides a context "and explanation" as to why "race under specific conditions and circumstances triggers the human capacity to hate, fear other people," and treat other people with contempt (Bowser, 286).
"In Brazil, even though racism is a crime, "punishable by imprisonment," it is not sufficient to "change behaviors," Rosana Heringer explains (Heringer, 1995, p. 205), and moreover it's not an easy task to arrest someone for racism in Brazil. The scientific research into racism used the U.S. pattern of relations between races "as a standard for comparison and contrast in their understanding of race in other societies, especially in Brazil," Heringer continues (209). In the U.S. racism was a "segregationist, conflictive, violent" pattern (known as Jim Crow); and in this milieu, the rules of race were based on "biological reasoning that defined race" (Heringer, 209). However, in Brazil, the type of racism (as opposed to U.S. segregation Jim Crow-style) was based on economic differences, on "egalitarian laws," on an "etiquette of distancing," and on "an ambiguous but very complex system of identification based mainly upon color nuances" (Heringer, 209)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bowser, Benjamin P. (1995). Racism and Anti-Racism in World Perspective. Thousand Oaks,CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Daniel, G. Reginald. (2010). Race and Multiraciality in Brazil and the United States:Converging Paths? University Park, PA: Penn State Press.
  • Gasnier, Annie. (2010). Brazil passes racial equality law but fails to endorse affirmative action.Eighty percent of workers on minimum wage are black and university graduation rate is lessthan a third of that for whites. Guardian. Retrieved May 28, 2011, from
  • Goldani, Ana Maria. (1999). Racial Inequality in the Lives of Brazilian Women in Race inContemporary Brazil: From Indifference to Inequality, Ed. R. Reichmann, UniversityPark, PA: Penn State Press.
  • Heringer, Rosana. (1995). Area Studies of Racism and Anti-Racism in Racism and Anti-Racism in World Perspective, Ed. B. Bowser, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Ethnic Issues in Brazil (2013, June 06) Retrieved December 02, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Ethnic Issues in Brazil" 06 June 2013. Web. 02 December. 2023. <>