Logo

Back

498 - Eroticism as an element capable of bringing forth a dialogue among cultures and different ethnic groups

16.07.2012 | 17:30 - 19:30
17.07.2012 | 17:30 - 19:30

Convener 1: cavendish Wanderley, Marcia (Pós Graduação em Sociologia e direito UFF , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Brasilien)

It is possible to raise the hypothesis of eroticism - more present in some human types than in others - as an element capable of bringing together peoples of different cultures and ethnic groups and promoting dialogue among them. More than a simple hypothesis, this is a central statement made by Gilberto Freyre in his remarkable book Casa Grande & Senzala as regards to the attitude of Portuguese colonizers in relation to conquered lands, bearing in mind mainly Brazil. First translated into English with the title of The Masters and the Slaves, the book received much criticism from 1930 onwards for its intellectual flights, for having created an almost unrealistic view of the Brazilian colonial society and in this way hiding the conflicts inherent to slavery. It also helped to develop a concept of racial democracy supposedly prevalent today in Brazil . Notwithstanding, the book reacquired esteem among readers and not only because of its outstanding literary force. The originality of its contradictory arguments also came to the fore, as a sort of zigzag critique, as Ricardo Benzaquem de Araujo said. From another point of view, the pathology of a patriarchal society emerges from Casa Grande & Senzala and readers are able to see that the sexual relationships within that society were ruled by domination and exploitation. If we take into account what Foucault says in The History of Homosexuality (vol. II), we will see that its principle of isomorphism between the sexual relationship and social relationship is based on the idea of polarity between dominator and dominated, between the superior and inferior, between the victorious and the defeated, such as the roles played by the partners in the social hierarchies. If that hierarchy exists among different societies within the range of human interactions, the question is: is it possible to speak of eroticism capable of bringing forth dialogue among different cultures and ethnic groups when this domination is blatantly prevails? And if domination precludes a dialogue, is eroticism when put into practice nothing but a devious way for hiding the truth?

Keywords: Cultural Studies, brasilian history, Sociology, Ethnical Groups, Erotiscim

University of Vienna | Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43 1 4277 17575