The Category of “Schism” in Brazil and Elsewhere: A View of Today’s Construction of the Political in the Pragmatic Perspective
[Kategoriia skhizmy v Brazilii i v mire: vzgliad na sovremennoe konstruirovanie politicheskogo v pragmaticheskoi perspektive]
Type of publication: Research Article
Brazil, schism, suspicion, political anthropology, legal anthropology, pragmatic sociology, democracy, police, violence, citizenship, law
The article focuses on the term cisma (schism) and its specific semantic and cultural load in Brazil, which exerts influence on the character of everyday communication and interactions among the citizens, society, and state in the country. From the pragmatic standpoint, I find it useful to counterpose the category of “schism” to that of “suspicion”, or “distrust”, which is rather characteristic of democratic societies. Taking the present-day situation in Brazil as a case in point, and testing my observations against the European and North American contexts, I introduce the term schismocracy referring to the “regime of schism” that can be said to epitomize the political system of the Brazilian society, as grounded in the notion of “cordial person” (homem cordial), in opposition to the democracy that is based on the idea of “rational bureaucracy”. The issue is pertinent not just to the discussion of contemporary anthropological situation in Brazil but also to the examination of important changes that have recently marked the realm of production of politics and policies in European and North American countries.
Funding InformationThis research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100006413
Mota, F.R. 2021. The Category of “Schism” in Brazil and Elsewhere: A View of Today’s Construction of the Political in the Pragmatic Perspective [Kategoriia skhizmy v Brazilii i v mire: vzgliad na sovremennoe konstruirovanie politicheskogo v pragmaticheskoi perspektive]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 2: 61–73. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150014807-7
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