Politics of Social Diversity

Document Type


Publication Date


Find this in a Library

Catalog Record


This chapter argues that regime distinctions capture only part of the vital state-society dynamic. It explores some of the significant areas of individual and group expression in Brazil and China as a window on state-society relations. A more in-depth examination of social identity in both of these large, diverse countries presents us with both some startling similarities as well as differences. Social actors are dynamic interpreters of a variety of messages: traditional mores, contemporary trends, and personal aspirations. Brazil's evolution on "color" or race relations is the result of the push and pull of state and society. Since 2005, Chinese leaders have promoted the image of China's "harmonious society"—an aspirational statement that belies China's record of contention and challenge. A central tenet of the ideology of racial democracy was the idea of social whitening, as expressed through the common saying in Brazil, "money whitens," and a belief in social mobility through "the mulatto escape hatch.".


Chapter 4 of this book was co-written by Laura Luehrmann

Catalog Record