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Country Brothers: Kinship and Chronotope in Brazilian Rural Public Culture

Alexander Sebastian Dent
Anthropological Quarterly
Vol. 80, No. 2, Kinship and Globalization (Spring, 2007), pp. 455-495
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30053062
Page Count: 41
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Country Brothers: Kinship and Chronotope in Brazilian Rural Public Culture
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Abstract

Brazilian "country" music, both in its commercial (música sertaneja) and folkloric (música caipira) forms, is performed by duplas (duos), most often of brothers. In this paper, I account for the increasing popularity of brotherhood as the means of organizing rural musical performance. I also account for the fact that, even in cases where the dupla is composed of friends rather than brothers, male siblingship still provides the most important organizing principles of the genre. In all elements of dupla performance, what is crucial about masculine siblingship is that blood and harmony brings them together, while the hierarchical nature of their roles within the dupla sets them apart. In the alternation between equality and hierarchy, the dupla form inculcates a means of fostering unity while managing inequality. Through what is presented as the pre-discursive quality of the bond between brothers, the dupla form enacts a critique of the voluntary forms of association thought to permeate social relations deemed urban. It also portrays modernization as a corrupting rather than a progressive influence. In effect, therefore, this musical approach to brotherhood provides a mode through which to comment upon: a perceived disintegration of meaningful social ties, the nature of Brazil (brasilidade), and the politics of culture.

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