A lightning in blue sky: reflections about quota politics and the Brazilian national identity

The text talks about the Brazilian social thought in an attempt to find out the "social clash" provoked by affirmative action propositions (quotas) made by the government. It shows that the main reason why these propositions have shocked the public opinion and have sounded like absurd, a lightning in blue sky, comes from the fact that in Brazil the racial matter has been left behind by the social thought among the academic sphere - in general, having the intellectuals expressing common sense ideas. That has lead to badly-informed people and shallow reflections about racial inequalities. As there has always been an intense and controvert interaction between academics and the anti-racist fight, the present responsibilities are discussed, focusing on how the social debate about the quotas and the affirmative action measures are a result of research choices, omissions, and distortions on the way to the institutionalization of the Social Sciences.

Brazilian social thought; Brazilian racial matter; quotas; affirmative action; racial inequalities; public policy


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