Journal of Romance Studies

Intimacy, inequality and democracia racial: theorizing race, gender and sex in the history of Brazilian race relations

Journal of Romance Studies (2007), 7, (2), 19–34.

Abstract

Although the history of race relations in Brazil is not necessarily a neglected area of study, social scientists have had to rely upon incomplete analysis of the historical processes that have contributed to the formation of the myth of racial democracy. This has resulted in a prevailing understanding of Brazilian race relations as enigmatic, ambiguous and contradictory. This article attempts to unravel the enigma of racial democracy by focusing on the key historical processes that produced the free coloured sector of the population: manumission and miscegenation. In addition, the theoretical framework developed for analysing the myth of racial democracy exposes how relations of power invested in the mechanisms of manumission and miscegenation were both racialized and sexualized, and that the paradigms for relations between blacks and white in Brazil are predicated on gendered notions of patronage embodied in these power relations.

Access Token
£25.00
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Andrade, Maria José de Souza (1988) A mão de obra escrava em Salvador, 1811–1860 (São Paulo: Corrupio). A mão de obra escrava em Salvador, 1811–1860 Google Scholar

Agier, Michel (1995) ‘Racism, culture and black identity in Brazil’, Bulletin of Latin American Research 14.2, 243–64. Racism, culture and black identity in Brazil Bulletin of Latin American Research 14.2 243 64 Google Scholar

Andrews, George Reid (2004) Afro-Latin America, 1800–2000 (New York: Oxford University Press). Afro-Latin America, 1800–2000 Google Scholar

Azerêdo, Sandra (1994) ‘Teorizando sobre gênero e relações racias’, Revista Estudos Feministas 2, 203–27. Teorizando sobre gênero e relações racias Revista Estudos Feministas 2 203 27 Google Scholar

Baptist, Edward E. (2001) ‘“Cuffy”, “fancy maids”, and “one-eyed men”: rape, commodification and the domestic slave trade in the United States’, The American Historical Review 106.5, 1619–50. “Cuffy”, “fancy maids”, and “one-eyed men”: rape, commodification and the domestic slave trade in the United States The American Historical Review 106.5 1619 50 Google Scholar

Barickman, B. J. (1998) A Bahian Counterpoint: Sugar, Tobacco, Cassava and Slavery in the Recôncavo, 1780–1860 (Stanford CA: Stanford University Press). A Bahian Counterpoint: Sugar, Tobacco, Cassava and Slavery in the Recôncavo, 1780–1860 Google Scholar

Beckles, Hilary McD. (1999) Centering Woman: Gender Discourses in Caribbean Slave Society (Princeton NJ: Wiener). Centering Woman: Gender Discourses in Caribbean Slave Society Google Scholar

Caldwell, Kia Lilly (2001) ‘Racialized boundaries: women’s studies and the question of “difference” in Brazil’, The Journal of Negro Education 70.3, 219–30. Racialized boundaries: women’s studies and the question of “difference” in Brazil The Journal of Negro Education 70.3 219 30 Google Scholar

Camp, Stephanie M. H. (2004) Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South (Chapel Hill NC: University of North Carolina Press). Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South Google Scholar

Chalhoub, Sidney (1989) ‘Slaves, freedmen and the politics of freedom in Brazil: the experience of blacks in the city of Rio’, Slavery and Abolition 10.3, 64–84. Slaves, freedmen and the politics of freedom in Brazil: the experience of blacks in the city of Rio Slavery and Abolition 10.3 64 84 Google Scholar

Cohen, David W. and Jack P. Greene (eds) (1972) Neither Slave Nor Free: The Freedman of African Descent in Slave Societies of the New World (Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press). Neither Slave Nor Free: The Freedman of African Descent in Slave Societies of the New World Google Scholar

Costa, Emilia Viotti da (2000) The Brazilian Empire: Myths and Histories (Chapel Hill NC: University of North Carolina Press). The Brazilian Empire: Myths and Histories Google Scholar

Degler, Carl N. (1971) Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil (New York: Macmillan). Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil Google Scholar

Estanislau, Lídia Avelar (2000) ‘Feminino no plural: negras no Brazil’, in Brasil Afro-Brasileiro, ed. Maria Nazareth Soares Fonseca (Belo Horizonte: Autêntica), 211–28. Feminino no plural: negras no Brazil Brasil Afro-Brasileiro 211 28 Google Scholar

Freyre, Gilberto (1933) Casa-grande e senzala: formação da família brasileira sob o regime de economia patriarcal (Rio de Janeiro: Maia and Schmidt). Casa-grande e senzala: formação da família brasileira sob o regime de economia patriarcal Google Scholar

Freyre, Gilberto (1963a) The Mansions and the Shanties: The Making of Modern Brazil, ed. and trans. Harriet de Onís, introd. Frank Tannenbaum (New York: Knopf). The Mansions and the Shanties: The Making of Modern Brazil Google Scholar

Freyre, Gilberto (1963b) [1946] The Masters and the Slaves: A Study in the Development of Brazilian Civilization, trans. Samuel Putnam (second printing of 2ndedn 1956; 1stedn 1946) (New York: Knopf). The Masters and the Slaves: A Study in the Development of Brazilian Civilization Google Scholar

Furtado, Júnia Ferreira (2003) Chica da Silva e o contratador dos diamantes (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras). Chica da Silva e o contratador dos diamantes Google Scholar

Gaspar, David Barry and Darlene Clark Hine (eds) (1996) More than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas (Bloomington: Indiana University Press). More than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas Google Scholar

Giacomini, Sônia Maria (1994) ‘Beleza mulata e beleza negra’, Revista Estudos Feministas 2, 217–27. Beleza mulata e beleza negra Revista Estudos Feministas 2 217 27 Google Scholar

Gilliam, Angela (1998) ‘The Brazilian “mulatta”: images in the global economy’, Race and Class 40.1, 57–69. The Brazilian “mulatta”: images in the global economy Race and Class 40.1 57 69 Google Scholar

Glenn, Evelyn Nakano (2002) Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor (Cambridge MA and London: Harvard University Press). Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor Google Scholar

Goldstein, Donna (2003) Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press). Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown Google Scholar

Gonzalez, Léila (1982) ‘A mulher negra na sociedade brasileira’, in O lugar da mulher, ed. Madel Terezinha Luz (Rio de Janeiro: Graal), 87–106. A mulher negra na sociedade brasileira O lugar da mulher 87 106 Google Scholar

Greenblatt, Stephen (1991) Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World (Oxford: Clarendon). Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World Google Scholar

Guimarães, Antonio Sérgio Alfredo (2001) ‘Racial inequalities, black protest and public policies in Brazil’, conference paper presented at UNRISD Racism and Public Policy, Durban. Racial inequalities, black protest and public policies in Brazil Google Scholar

Hanger, Kimberly (1997) Bounded Lives, Bounded Places: Free Black Society in Colonial New Orleans (Durham NC and London: Duke University Press). Bounded Lives, Bounded Places: Free Black Society in Colonial New Orleans Google Scholar

Hartman, Saidiya (1996) ‘Seduction and the ruses of power’, Callaloo 19.2, 537–60. Seduction and the ruses of power Callaloo 19.2 537 60 Google Scholar

Healey, Mark Alan (2003) ‘Powers of misrecognition: Bourdieu and Wacquant on race in Brazil’, Nepantla 4.2, 391–402. Powers of misrecognition: Bourdieu and Wacquant on race in Brazil Nepantla 4.2 391 402 Google Scholar

Higgins, Kathleen J. (1999) ‘Licentious Liberty’ in a Brazilian Gold-mining Region: Slavery, Gender and Social Control in Eighteenth-century Sabará, Minas Gerais (University Park PA: Pennsylvania State University Press). ‘Licentious Liberty’ in a Brazilian Gold-mining Region: Slavery, Gender and Social Control in Eighteenth-century Sabará, Minas Gerais Google Scholar

Ianni, Octávio (1970) ‘Research in race relations in Brazil’, in Race and Class in Latin America, ed. Magnus Morner (New York: Columbia University Press), 256–78. Research in race relations in Brazil Race and Class in Latin America 256 78 Google Scholar

Kandiyoti, Deniz (1988) ‘Bargaining with patriarchy’, Gender and Society 2.3, 274–90. Bargaining with patriarchy Gender and Society 2.3 274 90 Google Scholar

Karasch, Mary C. (1987) Slave Life in Rio de Janeiro, 1808–1850 (Princeton: Princeton University Press). Slave Life in Rio de Janeiro, 1808–1850 Google Scholar

Kelly, Joan (1984) Women, History, and Theory: The Essays of Joan Kelly (Chicago: Chicago University Press). Women, History, and Theory: The Essays of Joan Kelly Google Scholar

Kiernan, James Patrick (1978) ‘Baptism and manumission in Brazil: Paraty, 1789–1822’, Social Science History 3.1, 56–71. Baptism and manumission in Brazil: Paraty, 1789–1822 Social Science History 3.1 56 71 Google Scholar

Klein, Herbert (1972) ‘Nineteenth-century Brazil’, in Neither Slave Nor Free: The Freedman of African Descent in Slave Societies of the New World, ed. David W. Cohen and Jack P. Greene (Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press), 309–34. Nineteenth-century Brazil Neither Slave Nor Free: The Freedman of African Descent in Slave Societies of the New World 309 34 Google Scholar

Loveman, Mara (1999) ‘Review: making “race” and nation in the United States, South Africa and Brazil: taking “making” seriously’, Theory and Society 28.6, 903–27. Review: making “race” and nation in the United States, South Africa and Brazil: taking “making” seriously Theory and Society 28.6 903 27 Google Scholar

Marx, Anthony W. (1996) ‘Race making and the nation state’, World Politics 48.2, 180–208. Race making and the nation state World Politics 48.2 180 208 Google Scholar

Marx, Anthony W. (1998) Making Race and Nation: A Comparison of South Africa, the United States and Brazil (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Making Race and Nation: A Comparison of South Africa, the United States and Brazil Google Scholar

Morgan, Jennifer L. (2004) Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press). Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery Google Scholar

Nagel, Joane (2000) ‘Ethnicity and sexuality’, Annual Review of Sociology 26, 107–33. Ethnicity and sexuality Annual Review of Sociology 26 107 33 Google Scholar

Needell, Jeffrey D. (1995) ‘Identity, race, gender and modernity in the origins of Gilberto Freyre’s œuvre’, The American Historical Review 100.1, 51–77. Identity, race, gender and modernity in the origins of Gilberto Freyre’s œuvre The American Historical Review 100.1 51 77 Google Scholar

Oliveira, Maria Inês Côrtes de (1988) O Liberto: o seu mundo e os outros. Salvador, 1790–1890 (São Paulo: Corrupio). O Liberto: o seu mundo e os outros. Salvador, 1790–1890 Google Scholar

Reichmann, Rebecca (ed.) (1999) Race in Contemporary Brazil: From Indifference to Inequality (University Park PA: Pennsylvania State University Press). Race in Contemporary Brazil: From Indifference to Inequality Google Scholar

Reis, João José (1997) ‘“The revolution of the Ganhadores ”: urban labour, ethnicity, and the African strike of 1857 in Bahia, Brazil’, Journal of Latin American Studies 29, 355–93. “The revolution of the Ganhadores ”: urban labour, ethnicity, and the African strike of 1857 in Bahia, Brazil Journal of Latin American Studies 29 355 93 Google Scholar

Roberts, Jessica Forbes (2005) ‘A prayer for mourning: seduction and trauma in Carolivia Herron’s Thereafter Johnnie’, Callaloo 28.4, 1060–73. A prayer for mourning: seduction and trauma in Carolivia Herron’s Thereafter Johnnie Callaloo 28.4 1060 73 Google Scholar

Russell-Wood, A. J. R. (1982) The Blackman in Slavery and Freedom in Colonial Brazil (London: Macmillan). The Blackman in Slavery and Freedom in Colonial Brazil Google Scholar

Schwarcz, Lília Moritz (1993) O espectáculo das raças: cientistas, instituções e pensamento racial no Brazil, 1870–1930 (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras). O espectáculo das raças: cientistas, instituções e pensamento racial no Brazil, 1870–1930 Google Scholar

Schwartz, Stuart B. (1982) ‘Patterns of slaveholding in the Americas: new evidence from Brazil’, The American Historical Review 87.1, 55–86. Patterns of slaveholding in the Americas: new evidence from Brazil The American Historical Review 87.1 55 86 Google Scholar

Sherrard-Johnson, Cherene (2004) ‘“A plea for color”: Nella Larsen’s iconography of the mulatta’, American Literature 76.4, 833–69. “A plea for color”: Nella Larsen’s iconography of the mulatta American Literature 76.4 833 69 Google Scholar

Skidmore, Thomas E. (1993) Black into White: Race and Nationality in Brazilian Thought (New York: Oxford University Press). Black into White: Race and Nationality in Brazilian Thought Google Scholar

Slenes, Robert W. (1997) ‘Senhores e subalternos no oeste paulista’, in História da vida privada no Brasil, vol. 2, ed. Fernando Novais and Luiz Felipe de Alencastro (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras), 233–90. Senhores e subalternos no oeste paulista História da vida privada no Brasil 233 90 Google Scholar

Soderlund, Jean R. (1997) ‘Review: More than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas by David Barry Gaspar and Darlene Clark Hine’, The Journal of Southern History 63.4, 873–4. Review: More than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas by David Barry Gaspar and Darlene Clark Hine The Journal of Southern History 63.4 873 4 Google Scholar

Sommerville, Diane Miller (2004) ‘Moonlight, magnolias and Brigadoon; or “Almost like being in love”: mastery and sexual exploitation in Eugene D. Genovese’s plantation South’, Radical History Review 88, 68–82. Moonlight, magnolias and Brigadoon; or “Almost like being in love”: mastery and sexual exploitation in Eugene D. Genovese’s plantation South Radical History Review 88 68 82 Google Scholar

Tannenbaum, Frank (1946) Slave and Citizen: The Negro in the Americas (Knopf: New York). Slave and Citizen: The Negro in the Americas Google Scholar

UN/UNIFEM (2006) O Progresso das Mulheres no Brasil. O Progresso das Mulheres no Brasil Google Scholar

Winant, Howard (1992) ‘Commentary: rethinking race in Brazil’, Journal of Latin American Studies 24.1, 173–92. Commentary: rethinking race in Brazil Journal of Latin American Studies 24.1 173 92 Google Scholar

Yuval-Davis, Nira (1997) Gender and Nation (London: Sage). Gender and Nation Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Collins, Jane-Marie