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Mirrors of Whiteness (Hardback)

Media, Middle-Class Resentment, and the Rise of the Far Right in Brazil

Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Pitt Latin American Series
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9780822947523
Published: 31st January 2024
Casemate UK Academic

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In Mirrors of Whiteness, Mauro P. Porto examines the conservative revolt of Brazil’s white middle class, which culminated with the 2018 election of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro. He identifies the rise of a significant status panic among middle-class publics following the relative economic and social ascension of mostly Black and brown low-income laborers. The book highlights the role of the media in disseminating “mirrors of whiteness,” or spheres of representation that allow white Brazilians to legitimate their power while softening or hiding the inequalities and injustices that such power generates. A detailed analysis of representations of domestic workers in the telenovela Cheias de Charme and of news coverage of affirmative action by the magazine Veja demonstrates that they adopted whiteness as an ideological perspective, disseminating resentment among their audiences and fomenting the conservative revolt that took place in Brazil between 2013 and 2018.

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