By Jerry Dávila
Providing a different ancient point of view on how racial attitudes stream from elite discourse into people’s lives, Diploma of Whiteness exhibits how public faculties promoted the concept that whites have been inherently healthy and people of African or combined ancestry have been unavoidably short of remedial recognition. reading basic material—including college approach files, instructor journals, pictures, inner most letters, and unpublished documents—Dávila strains the emergence of racially coded hiring practices and student-tracking rules in addition to the advance of a social and clinical philosophy of eugenics. He contends that the implementation of a few of the rules meant to “improve” nonwhites institutionalized sophisticated obstacles to their equitable integration into Brazilian society.
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Extra info for Diploma of Whiteness: Race and Social Policy in Brazil, 1917–1945
Ramos believed in the primacy of culture over race in conditioning human potential. The Orthophrenology and Mental Hygiene Service provided him with the resources— literally thousands of ﬁchas de higiene mental—with which to disprove biological determinism, which he called ‘‘racial hygiene,’’ demonstrating instead the ‘‘immense and complex . . ’’∂≥ Ramos relied on the behavioral and psychological records of Rio’s students to develop his The Problem Child: Mental Hygiene in the Elementary School, which explored reasons for the maladjustment of children.
The raça was a work in progress—a common ethnicity that all Brazilians would belong to once they shed inferior cultural and hygienic conditions. Teachers taught students that being a part of the raça was the key to citizenship and success. In practice, this meant behavioral whitening: that is, discarding African and indigenous cultural practices. Even Brazilians not of European descent could be members of the raça. Elite concern over the ‘‘eugenic perfection of the race’’ meant the allocation of resources to mitigate some of the e√ects of poverty on children.
Education and health The eugenic projects of educators emerged between the 1920s and 1940s from the public health and hygiene campaigns of the ﬁrst decades of the century. In building the ‘‘brazilian man’’ From Diploma of Whiteness by Dávila, Jerry. 1215/9780822384441 27 turn, advocates for public health and hygiene were innovators whose projects countered a widely held belief in the racial degeneracy of black and mixedblood individuals. This idea of degeneracy combined European scientiﬁc racism with white Brazilian fears of the African slave population.
Diploma of Whiteness: Race and Social Policy in Brazil, 1917–1945 by Jerry Dávila