Las cuotas raciales en el discurso mediatico y academico Brasileno
Estrada-Portales, Isabel Manuela.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This dissertation studies the parallel processes of implementation and legislation of affirmative action, in particular quotas, for the black, brown and indigenous population in Brazil, from 2000 to 2010. The study focuses on how these processes played out in academia and the media and the multiple instances of cross pollinating between them. Brazilian academia struggles with affirmative action because it challenges several entrenched beliefs that academics not only espouse but helped to establish in the popular imaginary. Among those beliefs are the class nature of racial disparities, the inexistence of structural or institutional racism, and the lasting and positive effects of the racial democracy myth as a national telos. Besides, academia and the media find complicated the development of public policy based on the concept of race which now lacks scientific standing. For the media and academia, racial quotas have become no less than a discussion of national identity. This study shows how Brazilian mainstream media has taken an open position against affirmative action and quotas and how the professional ideologies of journalists and editors have served to construct a lopsided polemic, by a careful selection of sources and by limiting the access of the leadership of the Movimento Negro and other advocates in favor of the measures. This dissertation studies the construction of the media discourse, its intersection with the academic discourse and the overlap between the editorial and the news pages in the quest for presenting a unified discourse against quotas. It is a particular contention of this study that the media elite and academia are both defending a power position that winds up supporting the status quo and white privilege. The racial quotas question the integrity of academia because it has contributed to develop this unifying but failing national discourse and the integrity of the media which has made that discourse common knowledge. However, the last decade of debate has contributed to a repositioning of most scholars and institutions towards acceptance of affirmative action measures, including racial quotas, for higher education, in part due to the positive results the policy has rendered in the institutions that have already adopted them.
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