Brazil’s whiteness unveiled : a discussion on race with Cooperifa participants, Capelinha residents and Universidade Federal de Bahia (UFBA) students and professors
This thesis analyzes attitudes about race in Brazil in three research sites conducted in 2008 and 2009. The first research site was Salvador, Bahia where I asked a total of twelve students and professors their opinions about the importance of discussing race relations in Brazil and their views on Affirmative Action. These participants were mostly white middle-class students and professors. The second site was in the periferia of Zona Sul in the neighborhood of Capelinha, São Paulo. I interviewed four residents about the importance of race in Brazil. Here, the residents were mostly non-white, from various states in the north and northeast, and were working class. The last research site was Cooperifa, which is a spoken word movement located near Capelinha in Zona Sul. I found that non-white periferia residents subscribed to the same racial attitudes as the middle-class white participants when discussing the importance of race as a social phenomenon. In turn, I found that Cooperifa participants perceived white privilege as a social phenomenon that needs to be challenged. This thesis examines the links across these three sites and draws from theories of whiteness to understand them.