Brazilian Culture: An Introduction to the Study of Culture in Brazil

By Fernando de Azevedo; William Rex Crawford | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE BRAZILIAN PEOPLE

Analysis of the collective character -- The interpenetration of Afro-Indian and Iberic cultures -- The white enslaver and miscegenation -- The result of the contact of the three initial cul- tures -- The harmony and incompatibility of certain original traits -- Some fundamental traits -- The domination of the effective, the irrational, and the mystical -- Attitude toward life -- Fatalistic resignation -- Tolerance and hospitality -- Instinct of reaction of defense: reserve and irreverence -- Brazilian humor -- Plasticity in adaptation to new situations -- Lack of economic interests -- Lack of foresight and spendthrift habits -- Delicate and highly excitable sensibility -- Lively and superficial intelligence -- Lack of the positive spirit of objectivity and exactness -- Explosive will -- Capacity for great effort -- Action made up of impulses without constancy and without spirit of continuity -- Value attributed to the human person -- Anarchic individualism -- Individualism hindering political concentration -- Absence of the spirit of cooperation -- A people of pioneers -- Personal prestige and the social hierarchy -- The man of the coast and the man of the interior -- North and south -- Diversity of regional types and fundamental unity -- Transformations of mentality and their internal and external causes.

IT IS NOT only in the peculiar characteristics of their life, their customs, their language, and their institutions that a people, or more generally a human group, is distinguished from others. It is also by its temperament and collective character. A product of a great variety of factors, geographic, ethnic, economic, and social, in which the first two play an important part but not a preponderant one in its formation, the collective character is a synthesis of the most diverse elements harmonizing and resistant, which combine or tend to combine, constituting the original physiognomy of a people or a nation. "A temperament, collective or individual," emphasizes Durkheim, "is an eminently complex matter and cannot be reduced to a simple formula. Character in groups as in individuals is the very system of all of the mental elements; it is what makes their unity. But this unity is not tied up simply to the preponderance of one or another particular tendency, more or less marked." It is not, then, by generalizing our observation of individuals, but by analyzing the natural environment, and more than that the human environment, the institutions, and the historic and social evolution of each people, that it becomes possible to reconstitute, at least in its main lines, their character -- "explicable in itself, not by any single geographic or racial cause, but by the combination of multiple influences." The great natural forces like the physical environment, the climate, and the race shape, in fact, a people profoundly at the moment when its soul is still virgin; and prolonging their action through their history, observes Boutmy,1 these factors are capable by modifying the human environment of perpetuating hereditary traits which were imprinted from the beginning on the first generations.

____________________
1
E. Boutmy, Essai d'une psychologie politique du peuple anglais au XIXe siècle ( Paris: Colin, 1901).

-115-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Brazilian Culture: An Introduction to the Study of Culture in Brazil
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 562

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.