FLACSO Mexico | Mexico
Title: Evaluation of affirmative policies in health: Discourses, attitudes and practices about racism, inequalities and actions against racism in Brazil
Biography: Cristina Gomes
Statement of the Problem: Racism in Brazil is structural, reflects more than four centuries of slavery and it is reproduced in institutions and civil society, in daily and family life. After 13 years promoting the inclusion of black population in public services this research evaluates the implementation of the National Policy for Integral Health of Black Population in health services in the municipality of Camacari, State of Bahia, Brazil.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: A triangulated methodology was applied, including a quantitative Survey, participant observation, in-depth interviews and focal groups with workers of public and private health services. The questionnaire included the staff profile: socio-demographic, family and work conditions, and their perceptions, attitudes and practices on racism and race inequalities and policies.
Findings: The workers recognize that racism exists in Brazil. However, their speeches indicate the predominance of a modern or subtle type of racism, based more on social prejudices than on color, mainly among high school professionals, such as physicians, nurses social workers, etc. Less educated workers, like technicians, receptionists and watchmen present higher proportions of prejudices based on color, or traditional racism, compared to the more educated workers.
Conclusion & Significance: The results adhere to the cultural approach on racism as ideology (Miles and Brown, 2003), associated to the level of education. However affirmative policies are rejected by most workers regardless of their level of education. Recognizing that racism, inequalities and injustices exist does not allow people to assume a commitment to act collectively to compensate or eliminate the effects of these injustices in their daily life or work, or to support actions to promote real equality.
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