Racing and erasing the playboy: Slang, transnational youth subculture, and racial discourse in Brazil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article explores the complex negotiation of race, class, and space that surrounds the Brazilian Portuguese slang term 'playboy.' It is argued that youth use this slang term to grapple with transnational debates around race and to make sense of their nation's situation of stark inequality. Poor black male youth, in particular, use this social label to challenge their marginalization from the Brazilian nation-state, constructing themselves as more empowered racial and political subjects. Yet their more controversial semantic shifts are reinterpreted by dominant society, erasing the race of the playboy and diffusing their critique of Brazil's alleged racial democracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-265
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Linguistic Anthropology
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007

Keywords

  • Brazil
  • Race
  • Slang
  • Whiteness
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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