RACE AND DEGENERATION
biblioteca24horas - 236 pages
This fine book written by Jurandir Sá Barreto Jr. focuses on conceptions about the human races in Brazil during the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, particularly among physicians in Bahia. Besides giving examples of racial prejudice in the medical literature, the author shows how such conceptions had been partially based on theories that at the time were considered scientific by part of the European intelligentsia. Craniology, especially, had been imported by our national legal medicine in order to help identifying the delinquent having been used by the great Nina Rodrigues. On the other hand, the general theoretical statements with respect to ?degeneration? were based on the theses of social Darwinism thereby implying eugenics. Jurandir examines several sources in order to make up a panoramic view of the ideology of racism in Brazil. He identified three other phases that came after this moment of importation of the racist theories. After World War I, many thinkers made an effort to demonstrate the whitening of Brazilian population. After that, with the culturalism of the thirties, the human mixed breeding began to be valued as a positive phenomenon. Finally, in the fifties the myth of our racial democracy began to be questioned.
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