Brazil’s whiteness unveiled : a discussion on race with Cooperifa participants, Capelinha residents and Universidade Federal de Bahia (UFBA) students and professors

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Date

2010-12

Authors

Martinez, Lorena M.

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Abstract

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.

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