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Educação e Pesquisa

Print version ISSN 1517-9702On-line version ISSN 1678-4634


GUIMARAES, Antonio Sérgio Alfredo. How to work with "race" in sociology. Educ. Pesqui. [online]. 2003, vol.29, n.1, pp.93-107. ISSN 1517-9702.

In a didactic account of a theoretical-methodological nature the author explains how the category of "race" is used in his research, in connection with other categories such as "color", "ethnics", "class", "nation", "people", "state", etc. Assuming that concepts, theoretical or otherwise, can only be applied and understood within their discursive contexts, the author establishes the distinction between "analytical" and "native" concepts, that is, between categories extracted from a theoretical corpus, and those that comprise the discursive universe of the subjects being analyzed, but that must be employed by the sociologist. In the central part of the text, the author sketches a history of the meanings of the category "race" in Brazil and of the various explanations of the nature of the relations between white and black people put forward by Sociology: starting with the 1940s pioneering work of Donald Pierson, going through the UNESCO studies of the 1950s and the work of the so-called "São Paulo School" in the 1960s, up to the more recent revival of the theory of "racial democracy" in close dialogue with Black movements. The author concludes the article with a brief discussion about the various questions or stimuli given in surveys for the definition and measurement of the color or race variable.

Keywords : Race; Ethnics; Class; Nation.

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