Soccer and Racism

Soccer and Racism

The Beginnings of Futebol in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, 1895-1933

By Rosana Barbosa

Anthem Critical Introductions

Anthem Brazilian Studies

This book aims to use soccer as a tool to understand key elements of Brazil’s history from the overthrow of the Monarchy in 1889 to the 1930 Revolution that brought Getulio Vargas to power – the so-called First Republic. 

Paperback, 250 Pages


July 2022

£20.99, $24.95

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

The book looks at the turn of the century, when organized soccer began to be played in a systematic way by the European community of Rio and São Paulo, mostly by the British. It shows that the new sport was embraced by these people as a way to celebrate their culture, and to imitate the activities of the elite schools in Britain that became quite popular throughout Europe. Young Brazilians from the elite also embraced the sport as a way of sharing a popular European sport that was identified with what was respected as a white/upper class activity. In this way making a distinction from the lower and darker populations. Making this distinction was important in this moment of post-emancipation, affirming the superiority of the upper/white class. It was also important for the European residents of Brazil in order to distinguish themselves from Brazilians (colonial mentality). Football was one aspect of the modernity that these two cities were craving to achieve.

The book highlights the impact of European-based racial assumptions on the development of professional soccer. It provides a broad discussion on how the official discourse after 1930 was one of conciliation, claiming that Brazil was not European, but unique due to its racial mixing. This idea began to be promoted by artists and intellectuals as an attempt to Brazilianize the country, but it was soon embraced by politicians with the leadership of President Getulio Vargas in an attempt to create a unified national identity. In this context, futebol was also unique in relation to European football because of its mulatoism. Although this new attitude would influence social and racial barriers within football to fall, racism did not end, nor did Brazil become a racial democracy – as it has been claimed by many. 


No reviews for this title.

Author Information

Rosana Barbosa is a professor in the history department at Saint Mary’s University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Anthem Critical Introductions

Anthem Brazilian Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction; Chapter 1: Soccer and Investments as a Civilizing Force; Chapter 2: Soccer and Colour Segregation; Chapter 3: Soccer and Lusophobia; Epilogue: The End of Exclusion but the Continuation of Racism.


No Podcasts for this title.

Latest Tweets

  • 'Start Me Up and Keep Me Growing: Management Learnings from the Rolling Stones' by Bertold Bär-Bouyssiere is finall…

    - 03:26:18 on 17/06/2022
  • At @NorwayinUK last week Geir-Egil Løken, Svein Tore Bergestuen, Asbjørn Rachlew discussed their new Anthem publica…

    - 03:26:18 on 01/06/2022
  • RT @DrToddLandman: New book with @AnthemPress coming this July! Six years of podcasts crafted into a book: #humanri…

    - 03:26:18 on 01/04/2022
  • 'In Defense of Reason After Hegel' by Richard Dien Winfield is finally here! It undermines the assault on truth per…

    - 03:26:18 on 01/04/2022
  • Out now: 'Gender, Sexuality and Feminism in Pakistani Urdu Writing' by Amina Yaqin. This book sets out an unconvent…

    - 03:26:18 on 01/04/2022
  • Tune-in to a discussion with Markos Kounalakis on his latest book, 'Freedom Isn't Free' moderated by Bill Whalen.…

    - 03:26:18 on 01/04/2022
  • Out now! 'Sounding Prose' by Natascha Veldhorst. This book is about the presence of music in novels. More specifica…

    - 03:26:18 on 31/03/2022
  • 'Logos and Life' by Roger Teichmann is finally here! The essays cover topics in philosophy of mind, philosophy of…

    - 03:26:18 on 31/03/2022
  • 'The Whole Durn Human Comedy' by Joseph McBride is finally here! This is a groundbreaking, incisive critical study…

    - 03:26:18 on 23/03/2022
  • Out now! 'Emerging Thoughts in Disability and Humanness' by Elizabeth DePoy & Stephen French Gilson. Find out more…

    - 03:26:18 on 23/03/2022

Comodo SSL