chapter  2
30 Pages

Culture and ethnicity: A crossnational contrast

WithEvandro Camara

Systems of ethnic stratification in the American hemisphere display certain basic characteristics that lend them a uniform character across different multiethnic societies. Despite the systematic character of ethnic/racial discrimination and prejudice in hemispheric perspective, in association with different sets of historico-cultural influences in each society, these elements come to be expressed in terms of rather dissimilar intergroup configurations. Beyond the larger and more fundamental aspect of the existence of an ethnic hierarchy, shared by the two societies, insofar as other highly important interethnic considerations are concerned, Brazil and the United States have handled the diversity of their ethnic panorama in diametrically opposed ways. In contrast, the configuration of interethnic/interracial relations in the US has historically been more compatible with its expression. More assessments of race and ethnicity in Brazil continue to give strong indication of the more powerful shaping effect of class over that of race.