Repertoires of diversity and collective boundaries. Diverging paths between Portugal and Brazil?

by Nuno Oliveira

Working Papers WP 15-08
June 2015
ISSN 2192-2357 (MMG Working Papers Print)

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The article argues that two divergent paths in the conception of diversity between Europe and Latin America can be traced, with implications at the policy level: Portugal and Brazil are taken as illustrations of these trends. On the one hand, the trend is towards the blurring of ethnic and racial boundaries broadly under the policy concept of “interculturalism”; on the other hand, the Brazilian trend is towards traditional multicultural policies such as the recognition of group specificity according to ethnic boundaries and belonging, with impacts on the distribution of symbolic and material resources. The article sets out the concept of repertoires of diversity as a way of mitigating both the normativity and uniformity of the national model approach. Four differentiated repertoires with implications for collective identity narratives are highlighted. Finally, the main aspects of this comparison are summed up and a number of general conclusions drawn that concur with the idea of distinct pathways in the social organization of collective ethnic and racial belonging.

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