Dados n. 14 Rio de Janeiro 1977

Desigualdades Raciais no Brasil

Hasenbalg, Carlos


This paper analyzes racial inequality in Brazil during the period which followed the abolition of slavery. A critical assessment is made of the theories which explain current racial inequality in terms of the legacy of slavery and claim that racial discrimination mechanisms are incompatible with industrialization. The influence of slavery on racial inequality in the post-slavery period is viewed through its effects on the geographic distribution of the white and non-white populations, the latter having concentrated largely in the country's more backward regions. The author shows that the pattern of ecological segregation of the two racial groups, historically conditioned by the slave-holding regime, was exacerbated between 1888 and 1930 by the promotion of European immigration to the country's Southeast. Racial inequality in the occupational and educational spheres is analyzed in regional terms and it is shown that in the Southeast (the country's most developed region), despite the disadvantages for non-whites of competing with European immigrants, the inequality between whites and non-whites is lower than in the country's more underdeveloped regions. The author does not believe that racial inequality is likely to decrease through the individual social mobility of non-whites, unless the group can consolidate its claims in such a way as to bring about differential promotion policies in its behalf and the elimination of routine discrimination mechanisms.

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Desigualdades Raciais no Brasil