The sociological construction of race in Brazil

Sérgio Costa

Establishing positively that race records in Brazil lead up to social inequalities that might permit a definition of two basic population groups - whites and non-whites -, some racial studies adopt the concept (non-biological) of race as a general sociological and political category. The race category, although essential for the studies of race inequalities, when transformed in a general instrument of analysis and normative desideratum, leads to an incomplete comprehension of the Brazilian national formation, to an objectivist vision of the race relations and to a reduction of the social identities to its political-instrumental dimension.

race inequalities; cultural identity; social acknowledgement in Brazil; race categories


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