3 takeaways from the class

Modern Brazil by the History department was a class I initially picked for my cultural difference credit and tried to learn about the Brazilian culture more as I have Brazilian friends around. I learned so much more than I expected as I started to look at how social problems interact with race, white supremacy in the Brazilian society and immigration.
In Brazil, people stress about their income and social class to classify their social status. There is poverty among cities, and some Brazilians still live in the favelas, which the majority of them are racial minority. This has raised a question of their accessibility to resources, their educational opportunities and how did the environment impact their beliefs. Some scholars attribute to race problems. However, some data and demographics are not enough to interpret the social problems. Moreover, racism cannot conclude everything. It will worth exploring for me to observe the social dynamics in the Western society regarding race and socioeconomic status.
White supremacy has been a main trend in the western societies as they have multiple races exist in the society. Brazil is a good representation as well. In the Brazilian society, they portray racial democracy, which means that everyone is equal as a result of miscegenation, and everybody is whitening for the better. Nevertheless, this belief has stressed the whiteness and ignored other racial diversity. Many racial minorities have low self-esteem and try their best to whiten themselves instead of maintaining their original identity.
It is amazing to see Brazil is made up of immigrants from different corners of the world, as my initial thought was that Brazil was a country mainly with Portuguese heritage and some European immigrants. Brazil wanted immigration because King Pedro II saw the potential of having migrants and build up a new country. Immigration has made Brazil collect many people from different cultural backgrounds and work on plantations and explore new lands, as the immigrants had the motivation to strive for a better life. Nevertheless, not all the immigrants were welcomed at the same level, as the early policies strongly favored the Europeans, and the country showed ambivalent attitude toward Asian immigrants like the Chinese, which they were hired for labor. Establishing national identity based upon immigrants from different places was a hard work. Some cultures were included in the Brazilian identity, but some East Asian immigrants were excluded in the Brazilian identity.
Exploring the Brazilian society was an opportunity to look at western society social dynamics and think more critically on these social problems. This is only a start to learn multiple cultures, and it will be more to investigate beyond this class.