Racism and whiteness in Brazil

  • Valeria Ribeiro Corossacz University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy


This paper is a contribution to understand the mechanisms of racism in Brazil through the study of whiteness. In part one I introduce some of the most important theoretical contributions of critical whiteness studies, focusing on how whiteness has been defined as a condition of privilege. In part two I present a brief history of the role played by whiteness in the formation of Brazil as a nation with particular attention for the theory of branqueamento and for the specific characteristics of Brazilian color classification. This historical overview helps understand how whiteness became and still is a social position of structural advantage. In the last part I discuss some aspects of my ethnography on whiteness among men of upper-middle class self-identifying as white living in Rio de Janeiro. More specifically I analyze how class is perceived by them as the register to define their experience of whiteness.

How to Cite
Ribeiro Corossacz, V. (2015) “Racism and whiteness in Brazil”, Anuac, 1(1), pp. 38-48. doi: 10.7340/anuac2239-625X-11.