Inequality, distinction, difference, and identities

Research Projects:


The social productivity of difference: affirmation of Catholic difference

Description: The Project aims to assess the impact of the philosophy of difference in Contemporary Social Sciences, especially in the so-called ‘Cultural Studies’: feminist studies, ethnic studies, studies of sexual minorities etc.

Professor in charge: Antonio Falvio de Oliveira Pierucci (in memoriam)


Global capitalism - social inequalities and Latin America

Description: Part of the hypothesis that there is a close relationship between the capitalist development model, the level of poverty and the high level of social inequalities existing in developed and developing countries. It is assumed that the Anglo-American development model structurally produces more poverty and inequality than the Asian-Japanese model. Finally, we insert Latin America within the Anglo-American capitalist development model that produces poverty and endemic inequality.

Professor in charge: Sedi Hirano (


Globalisation, memory, citizenship: Jews in Brazil

Description: ‘I came to stay’: this statement summarizes the project of Jewish immigrants who settled in Brazil. Several times, they had to hide their Jewish origin and overcome political and ideological oppression to guarantee their right to identity and citizenship. How much these claims had repercussions on relationships between men and women and among Jewish families? In Brazilian society, literature shows that, from the point of view of social gender relations, strong inequalities and domination of men over women were in force and still exist. And among the Jews, how were these relationships organised? Were inequalities brought in the luggage? Or the relations of domination of men over women were incorporated by the Jews when immigrants started living in Brazil? Or, can it be said that, in general, gender relations between Jews were equal? What was and is the meaning of the name ‘Jewish community?’ Is or was there anti-Semitism in Brazilian society? These are questions I shall try to answer using data of the survey ‘Jews in the memory of São Paulo’ (supported by CNPq), collected from immigrants who arrived in Brazil between 1890 and 1940, when the roots of the current conditions were traced. The research will extend to subsequent decades.

Professor in charge: Eva Alterman Blay (


Youth: family, values, and labour

Description: Using as a background the changes that currently occur in family status and the processes of incorporation of young people to social life, this research actually articulates different discussions about family relationships and intimacy, work and youth values, the Child and Adolescent Statute (ECA) and young families.

Professor in charge: Maria Helena Oliva Augusto (


Memory, image, and voice: Jewish immigrants in the composition of Brazilian people

Description: Analysis of life stories and photos of Jewish immigrants and their descendants.

Professor in charge: Eva Alterman Blay (


The present, the future, and the issue of generations

Description: The present, the future, and the issue of generations.

Professor in charge: Maria Helena Oliva Augusto (


Policies of inclusion and transition in the labour market: the case of ProUni

Description: The research project aims to investigate the effects of recent changes in the economic structure and of policies fighting inequalities on the configuration of racial inequalities in Brazil. More specifically, it analyses the transition process from higher education to labour market, paying particular attention to the possibilities of inclusion in the labour market of graduates from the University for All Program (ProUni) of the Federal Government. To this end, three axes of analysis are of particular importance: (i) the labour market for higher education graduates and the possibilities and limits of that inclusion according to related characteristics; (ii) development and recent expansion of the Brazilian higher education, with special attention to the expansion of private education; and (iii) implementation process, operation and first results of ProUni.

Professor in charge: Marcia Regina de Lima Silva (


Race and class in metropolitan contexts: analysis of inequalities and their treatment

Description: This project aims to elucidate the analytical capabilities of the race variable in analyses of the phenomena of production and reproduction of poverty and inequality, a central theme of researches carried out within the scope of the Centre for Metropolitan Studies/National Institute for Metropolitan Studies. It is part of a broader research agenda that aims to investigate the effects of changes in the economic structure and of policies fighting inequalities on the configuration of racial inequalities in Brazil, with particular interest in the effects of these changes on the labour market. Therefore, we intend to address this issue, which is considered as crucial in studies on racial inequalities, the boundaries between race and class. To this end, racial inequalities will be analysed from empirical situations in which it is possible to consider them as similar contexts of class (such as income, education, space).

Professor in charge: Marcia Regina de Lima Silva (


Overcoming inequality: affirmative action, labour market entry and social mobility

Description: Higher education remains a rare and valued asset in the Brazilian labour market. The project aims to analyse whether the admission of black and underprivileged youth in two prestigious universities through bonus (University of Campinas - Unicamp) and quota (Federal University of Bahia - Ufba) systems actually increases their chances in the labour market. We will carry out an analysis of school performance data of these young people compared to nonbeneficiaries in the first year, and in the second year, a sample survey with 2009 graduating students to examine their situation in the labour market. This survey will be repeated with the same sample (panel) every five years. Following the survey, an in-depth qualitative study will be carried out with a subsample of families of student beneficiaries.

Professor in charge: Maurício Urban Kleinke (