Tocqueville Reinvented or `Democracy in Brazil'

Diogenes 55 (4):69-81 (2008)

This paper compares Tocqueville's concept of democracy to the social and political evolution of Brazil. It draws attention to the different points of departure which marked the establishment of American and Brazilian societies, through the works of authors such as Laura de Mello e Souza, Gilberto Freyre, Florestan Fernandes, Celso Furtado, and Sérgio Buarque de Holanda. It notes that, despite conditions being more favourable for the formation of a democratic society in the United States than in Brazil, subsequent to the founding periods a certain coming together occurred in the process of formation of the two societies. The 'similarity of differences' between American and Brazilian societies becomes clear as soon as one brings together the roles played by the three constituent ethnic groups of these societies, which, by their simple existence, link difference to inequality
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DOI 10.1177/0392192108096831
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