Diploma of Whiteness: Race and Social Policy in Brazil, 1917-1945

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-04-01
  • Publisher: Duke Univ Pr
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $26.95 Save up to $0.81
  • Buy New


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


In Brazil, the country with the largest population of African descent in the Americas, the idea of race underwent a dramatic shift in the first half of the twentieth century. Brazilian authorities who had considered race a biological fact began to view it as a cultural and environmental condition. Jerry Dávila explores the significance of this transition by looking at the history of the Rio de Janeiro school system between 1917 and 1945. He demonstrates how, in the period between the world wars, the dramatic proliferation of social policy initiatives in Brazil was subtly but powerfully shaped by beliefs that racially mixed and nonwhite Brazilians could be symbolically, if not physically, whitened through changes in culture, habits, and health.Providing a unique historical perspective on how racial attitudes move from elite discourse into people's lives, Diploma of Whiteness shows how public schools promoted the idea that whites were inherently fit and that those of African or mixed ancestry were necessarily in need of remedial attention. Analysing primary material including school system records, teacher journals, photographs, private letters, and unpublished documents, Dávila traces the emergence of racially coded hiring practices and student tracking policies as well as the development of a social and scientific philosophy of eugenics. He contends that the implementation of the various policies intended to "improve" nonwhites institutionalized subtle barriers to their equitable integration into Brazilian society.

Author Biography

Jerry Davila is Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments, ix
Introduction, i
1 Building the "Brazilian Man,"
2 Educating Brazil,
3 What Happened to Rio's Teachers of Color?, 9o
4 Elementary Education,
5 Escola Nova no Estado Novo: The New School in the New State,
6 Behaving White: Rio's Secondary Schools,
Epilogue: The Enduring Brazilian Fascination with Race, 233(11)
List of Abbreviations, 244(3)
Notes, 247(24)
Bibliography, 271(16)
Index, 287

Rewards Program

Write a Review