Inequality, Race and Gender in Brazil


On Campus: March 11-May 8, 2020
Off Campus: May 11- May 31, 2020

Program Highlights

  • Visit one of Brazil's oldest, largest, and most diverse state to better understand the relationship between gender, race, and inequality in the country.
  • Become immersed in the culture of Salvador through events at the Federal University, various cultural and educational events, and staying with a host family.
  • Through lectures and informal conversations, obtain a deeper understanding of the current Brazilian political landscape and its connection to issues of race, gender, and inequality.
  • Visit various sites in the state of Bahia and see first hand the differences between urban, rural, and coastal life in Brazil.

Course & Program Information

Course Name: Inequality, Race, and Gender in Brazil

Course Number: POLS 358D

Credit Number: 4 credits

Designation: fulfills Gender (GE) & Experiential (EL) 

Prerequisite: completion of FYS 101, HONR 101 or FYS 201.

Course Description:

This course combines classroom learning at CSB/SJU during CD mod and ends with an experiential component abroadBrazil is a complex country. Blessed with abundant natural resources, it has constantly failed to transform this potential into sustained economic development. The economic growth of the past century has exacerbated long lasting inequalities that date back to the colonial period, with the legacy of slavery looming large to this day. These inequalities, when analyzed more deeply, show that race and gender are important categories in understanding the country’s struggle for social and economic development. This class explores the relationship between development, inequality, race and gender in Brazil. Students will learn about the historical contexts that have created Brazil as a nation while also seeing firsthand the economic, social, cultural, and racial diversity of the country.

Program Information:

In May we spend three weeks in the country, staying in Salvador for most of the time but also exploring other cities and towns in Bahia state. The state is the oldest in the country, the place where the Portuguese first landed when they reached Brazil. With a rich and complicated history, including years of slave trade and a troubled (and violent) colonial history, the state of Bahia is a great place to learn more about the legacy of slavery in Brazil. Cultural traditions, regional differences, and economic inequality are present for students to see firsthand. The combination of in-class studies during CD Mod and three weeks of experiential learning will allow students to obtain a detailed and refined understanding of the politics of race, gender, and inequality in Brazil.

The course will also include trips to beautiful places in the state of Bahia. The state, almost as large as France, has a long coastal area, beautiful highlands, a large savannah, and desert-like regions. By visiting these places, we will experience geographical and cultural diversity, helping student better understand the urban-rural divide in Brazil and its connection to discussions of race, gender, and inequality in the country.

Program Cost & Financial Considerations

The estimated program fee is $2,700. The billing for the entire cost of this course/program is on the regular schedule with the CSB/SJU billing system for spring semester. Students participating in this course are eligible to apply all their state, federal, and institutional scholarships, grants, and loans to the cost of this course. While grants and scholarships do not increase based on the cost of the course, you may have access to additional loans.

The program fee includes:

  • Housing while the program is in session
  • Three meals per day and laundry at home stay
  • Program related excursions, entrance fees & transportation
  • Local transportation for program related activities
  • CISI Medical & Evacuation Insurance

The program fee does not include:

  • Passport application fee ($145)
  • Round trip international airfare
  • Non-program travel or housing

The Short-Term Abroad Financing Brochure includes estimates for the items not included in the program fee, along with information regarding scholarships for study abroad.

See which Scholarships you may qualify for with participating on this program. 


Students stay with host families (two students per family). Host families live in houses or apartments in the same neighborhood, also close to other activities and events we will attend during our stay. Host families provide students three meals a day as well as free laundry facilities. Students will also have access to internet.

Program Director Information

Pedro dos Santos teaches in the Political Science Department. His teaching focus is on comparative politics, gender and politics, and the Global South. His research focus is on women’s representation in Brazil, and he spends most summers in the country conducting fieldwork for his research projects. Contact [email protected]