Research Project Blog

Many aspects of Brazilian life drastically changed under the rule of Getulio Vargas and his “Estado Novo.” In my previous studies here at the College, I have learned about different dictatorships throughout the world and I have always found gender roles during these times very interesting. I decided to conduct my research on the role and expectations of women under Vargas. In my previous Spanish classes, I have studied the expectations of women under the rule of Spanish Dictator Francisco Franco and I believe that it would be interesting to see how women under Vargas compare and contrast in this regard. Also, I believe that my major in Political Science will provide a political background that is important when looking at such a politicized time period.

In my research I hope to look at the portrayal of women by the state as well as the political, social, and cultural expectations of women during this time period. I believe that through the analysis of both primary and secondary sources, I will be able to capture a full picture of the role women played in the dictatorship. Also, I think that it will be interesting to look at the progression of political rights that occurred. I know that during this time, women gained the right to vote and would like to study the progression that led to this political advance.

The role of women in Vargas’ “Estado Novo” is important because it still effects women in modern Brazil. To fully understand the modern portrayals and expectations of women in Brazil today, it is important to first study the history that led to the modern state. Through my research I hope to be able to learn more about the history of women’s rights in Brazil and how it compares to the US as well as other countries.

Luckily for this topic, we will be discussing gender roles under the dictatorship briefly in class and the Brazil Reader offers many primary sources from the era. For primary sources, I plan to utilize many different primary sources from the era. I am currently working on trying to find pictures that I could analyze as primary sources, but as of right now many of my sources come from the Brazil Reader. Some of these sources include a speech given by Vargas himself as well as first-hand accounts from women living under Vargas.

Secondary Sources:

From class:

“Norma Fraga: Race Class Education and the Estado Novo” by Jerry Davila

“Unskilled Workers, Skilled Housewife” by Barbara Weinstein

Outside sources found:

Barros, Gelka. “BELA E SADIA! A MULHER NAS PÁGINAS DA REVISTA ALTEROSA (1939-1945) DURANTE O ESTADO NOVO E O PROCESSO DE AMERICANIZAÇÃO DO BRASIL.” Comunicação E Sociedade 32, (July 2017): 191-209. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed February 13, 2018).

Joel Wolfe, “From Working Mothers to Housewives” in Gender and Populism in Latin America:  Passionate Politics ed. Karen Kampwirth. Penn State Press, 2010. 

Primary Sources:

de Masi Zero, Joana, “Ordinary People: Five Lives Affected by Vargas-Era Reforms” in The Brazil Reader eds. Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti, p.218-221.

Vargas, Getulio, “New Year’s Address” in The Brazil Reader eds. Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti, p. 186-189.

Galvao, Patricia, “Where They Talk about Rosa Luxemburg”in The Brazil Reader eds. Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti, p.166-171.