Komesar 1-4 1/29/09 5:14 PM Race in a Comparative Perspective In the U.S., Brazil, and South Africa, European settlers dominated indigenous and/or slave populations of African origin. But the countries developed different systems of race relations after the abolition of slavery: U.S. and South Africa: caste systems of racial segregation codified into law. Brazil: avoided legal distinctions based on race: no Jim Crow or Apartheid Why is Brazil different? Marx examines three hypotheses: Historical-Cultural: Stresses the legacy of Portuguese racial tolerance. Miscegenation: Emphasizes the importance of racial mixing in Brazil. Economic: Traces racial segregation to economic competition and class interests Marx concludes that none of these hypothesis explain will explain why Brazil is different Marx?s explanation: Race-making and the nation-state Marx proposes an alternative explanation: In South Africa and the U.S., the state instituted legal discrimination to unify deeply divided whites and thereby ensure political unity and stability. No conflict between whites threatened political unity in Brazil, so there was no need to achieve reconciliation this way. Unintended consequences of race-making Political mobilization of black in the U.S., South Africa, and Brazil In the U.S. and South Africa, racial segregation unified blacks and encouraged their mobilization Without legal discrimination, there was little race-specific mobilization in Brazil. Unmaking racial domination Legal discrimination in the US and South Africa was abolished when Conflicts between whites were resolved and the state no longer needed to impose racial domination to unify whites Conflict between blacks and whites became a greater threat to political unity and stability Not the end of racial inequality, but the end of caste systems of racial segregations codified into law
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