Brazilian Society & Culture

Brazilian Society & Culture

Brazilian DiversityMap of Brazil

. Brazil is a mixture of races and ethnicities, resulting in rich diversity.
. Many original Portuguese settlers married native women, which created a new race, called ‘mestizos’.
. ‘Mulattoes’ are descendents of the Portuguese and African slaves.
. Slavery was abolished in 1888, creating over time a further blurring of racial lines.
. Unlike many other Latin American countries where there is a distinct Indian population, Brazilians have intermarried to the point that it sometimes seems that almost everyone has a combination of European, African and indigenous ancestry.

Brazilian Family Values

. The family is the foundation of the social structure and forms the basis of stability for most people.
. Families tend to be large (although family size has been diminishing in recent years) and the extended family is quite close.
. The individual derives a social network and assistance in times of need from the family.
. Nepotism is considered a positive thing, since it implies that employing people one knows and trusts is of primary importance.

The Brazilian Class System

. Despite the mixing of ethnicities, there is a class system in Brazil.
. Few Brazilians could be described as racist, although social discrimination on the basis of skin colour is a daily occurrence.
. In general, people with darker brown skin are economically and socially disadvantaged.
. The middle and upper classes often have only brief interaction with the lower classes – usually maids, drivers, etc.
. Class is determined by economic status and skin colour.
. There is a great disparity in wage differentials–and therefore lifestyle and social aspirations–among the different classes
. Although women make up 40% of the Brazilian workforce, they are typically found in lower paid jobs such as teaching, administrative support, and nursing.
. The 1988 constitution prohibits discrimination against women, but inequities still exist. The one place where women are achieving equality is in the government.