Visiting Assistant Professor, Boston College
Brazil, Culture, Consumption, Globalization, Inequality, Latin
America, Mathematical Sociology, Methodology, Race
“Finding ‘Strong’ and ‘Soft’ Racial Meanings in Cultural Taste Patterns in Brazil.” In press at Ethnic and Racial Studies (available online through iFirst).
"Becoming a Capoeirista: A Situational Approach to Consuming a Foreign Cultural Good." Forthcoming at Sociological Inquiry.
My dissertation, funded by the National Science Foundation, contributes to the sociology of culture, the sociology of race, the sociology of inequality, and Brazil-specific literature on racial identity and inequality. My central theoretical contribution is to extend cultural capital theory by analyzing how actors accumulate, valorize, and exchange racial symbols as cultural capital. I analyze how individuals and organizations transform capoeira - a Brazilian martial art and popular tourist attraction - into racialized cultural capital within the tourism market in Salvador, Brazil. I ask how racial meanings emerge during strategic and embodied enactment and consumption of capoeira, and which individuals and groups benefit from this racialized cultural capital? Through comparative participant observation and interviews at three capoeira studios, I examine the effects of class position and embeddedness in the institution of tourism on how actors construct, enact, and benefit from racialized cultural capital. I find that the benefits of racializing cultural capital does not map onto one racial category or group, but onto the Brazilian middle class. This cultural capital grants benefits only to Brazilians with dark skin tone that have access to middle class resources.