Transnational Movement Power: Examining Racialized and Class Based Movements within and between the United States and Brazil

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:45
Oral Presentation
Callie WATKINS LIU, Stonehill College, USA
Geisa MATTOS, Federal University of Ceara, Brazil, Brazil
Social movements correspond to particular social realities of inequality and sociopolitical identity. While one type of inequity may motivate mass mobilization in one context, it may not in another; and the socio-political categories leveraged to build collective power in one context may be completely different somewhere else. The United States of America and Brazil have similar and interrelated racial and economic histories where racial and class struggles are present in both, however the politics around race and class differ such that, race is more salient than class in the United States and class is more salient than race in Brazil. And frequently, these localized movements influence each other transnationally. For example, in the last decade, we have been seeing an increase of the “racialized language” when addressing the issue of police brutality in the “favelas” in Brazil as inspired by the US based #Black Lives Matter movement; while class based mobilizations in the US have drawn significant inspiration from class based movement such as the Landless Movement (MST) in Brazil. In this paper we will use United States based and Brazilian based movement case studies to compare and contrast racialized and class based mobilizations in the two countries. We will discuss primary similarities and differences within the racialized and class contexts of the countries, examine how those contexts affect specific movement cases in the country as evidenced by the particular cases, and how the movements influence each other transnationally. While much of the prominent social movement literature and frameworks focuses largely on US cases, this analysis will reveal local, national and transnational interactions that affect political mobilization and consciousness, in order to develop a broader framework for transnational social movement analysis.