Universidade Federal do ABC
Lecture by Jessé de Souza. Presentation by António Sousa Ribeiro (CES).
The idea is to reflect on racism, not only regarding phenotypes, as is usually done, but as the meta-language of society, behind all concrete assessments and decisions we make. The Brazilian case can illustrate this thesis in a convincing way. The whole dominant interpretation of the country is based on a pseudo-scientific 'culturalism' which is actually a mere 'functional equivalent' of the old imperial racism of the 19th century. The USA is seen as modern, impersonal and 'honest', as in the Parsonian modernisation theory - and Brazil is seen as the pre-modern, patrimonial and corrupt (moreover, all is understood as a 'Portuguese heritage').
In fact, it is not difficult to show, conclusively, how this is the global North’s general reading on the global South and that it serves to justify economic plundering and political interventions. The internal and subordinate elite identify with 'Americanism' and use culturalism to stigmatise and criminalise popular sovereignty, and to criminalise the welfare state internally.
From 'culturalist racism' it is possible to understand the function of class and race racism in the eternisation of secular Brazilian inequality and inequity
Jessé de Souza is a Brazilian sociologist, professor at the Federal University of ABC, with research in the areas of inequality, social stratification and critical theory. He is a fundamental reference of contemporary Brazilian social thought, having published on political sociology, peripheral modernization theory and inequalities in contemporary Brazil. Among his recent works, stand out A Construção Social da Subcidadania (2006); A ralé brasileira: quem é e como vive (2009); Os batalhadores brasileiros: Nova classe média ou nova classe trabalhadora? (2010, 2012). More recently he published A elite do atraso: Da escravidão à Lava Jato (2017).
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