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Global Mixed Race$
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Rebecca C. King-O'Riain, Stephen Small, Minelle Mahtani, Miri Song, and Paul Spickard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814770733

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814770733.001.0001

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Competing Narratives

Competing Narratives

Race and Multiraciality in the Brazilian Racial Order

Chapter:
(p.91) 5 Competing Narratives
Source:
Global Mixed Race
Author(s):

G. Reginald Daniel

Andrew Michael Lee

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814770733.003.0005

This chapter focuses on Brazil's racial order, characterized by widespread miscegenation and cultural blending. The country implemented a ternary racial order characterized by fluid racial markers that distinguish individuals as White, multiracial, and Black based on physical appearance rather than ancestry. Moreover, there was no legalized racial discrimination. Social inequality was supposedly based on class and culture. Brazil's racial democracy was popularized in anthropologist Gilberto Freyre who argued that the Portuguese colonizers, compared to their Anglo-North American counterparts, were receptive to miscegenation and generous in differentiating multiracials from Blacks. However, these phenomena were motivated by self-interest, and related respectively to the ratio of European men to women, and the ratio of Whites to Blacks.

Keywords:   miscegenation, cultural blending, fluid racial markers, Social inequality, Gilberto Freyre, Portuguese colonizers

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