Roth-Gordon, Jennifer. Race and the Brazilian Body: Blackness, Whiteness, and Everyday Language in Rio de Janeiro.

Position:Relevant Books - Brief article - Book review
 
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Roth-Gordon, Jennifer. Race and the Brazilian Body: Blackness, Whiteness, and Everyday Language in Rio de Janeiro. Oakland: University of California Press, 2017, pp. 248, ISBN: 9780520293809.

Based on spontaneous conversations of shantytown youth hanging out on the streets of their neighborhoods and interviews from the comfortable living rooms of the middle class, the author of this work shows how racial ideas permeate the daily lives of Rio de Janeiro's residents across race and class lines as the book weaves together the experiences of these two groups to explore what the author calls Brazil's "comfortable racial contradiction," where embedded structural racism that privileges whiteness exists alongside a deeply held pride in the country's history of racial mixture and lack of overt racial conflict. This linguistic and ethnographic account describes how cariocas (people who live in Rio de Janeiro) "read" the body for racial signs. The amount of whiteness or blackness a body displays is determined not only through observations of...

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