Chapter

Class, Race, and Social Mobility in Brazil*

Carlos Antonio and Costa Ribeiro

in Discrimination in an Unequal World

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199732166
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866144 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732166.003.0007
Class, Race, and Social Mobility in Brazil*

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This chapter presents empirical analyses of inequalities of opportunity for social mobility in Brazil. It conducts three types of analyses. First, it describes the intergenerational mobility between the parents' class or class of origin and the class of destination of whites, pardos, and blacks. The intent here is to verify what has a greater influence on the inequality of opportunities for ascensional mobility: the class of origin or skin color. Next, it provides a decomposition of such mobility, taking as an intermediary point the educational level achieved. Education is one of the most important factors of social ascension: without educational qualifications, one cannot, for instance, occupy professional positions, and thereby obtain relatively more comfortable life conditions. The inequality of educational opportunities is analyzed to verify the weight of class origin and skin color upon the chances of completing different educational levels. Finally, the chapter analyzes the likelihood that mobility opportunities will favor the more privileged classes, according to an individual's educational level, class origin, and skin color. This three-stage analysis enables the disclosure of the main barriers to social mobility, and also an evaluation of the combination of race and class of origin that inhibit such mobility.

Keywords: inequality; social mobility; Brazil; educational level; class origin; skin color

Chapter.  10890 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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