No Laughing Matter: Race Joking and Resistance in Brazilian Social Media

by Luiz Valério P. Trindade (IPIE – International Panel on the Information Environment, Switzerland)

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The book is a timely contribution to the literature on racism and hate speech on social media, providing an exploration of prevailing colonial and white supremacist ideologies.

[Extracted from book review published in the journal 'Ethnic and Racial Studies'. Volume 44, Issue 16 (2021). Reviewer: Åsne Håndlykken-Luz (University of South-Eastern Norway)]

‘No Laughing Matter: Race Joking and Resistance in Brazilian Social Media’ examines the social phenomenon of construction and dissemination of colonial-like racist discourses fostered against upwardly-mobile black women through disparagement humour on social media platforms, adopting a fresh and innovative perspective. In this book, Luiz Valério P. Trindade explores the idea that disparagement humour might not be as exempt of social impact as the jokers might believe, and that, in fact, this kind of humour reveals the hidden facet of deep-seated colonial ideologies still present in Brazilian society despite being hailed as a unique model of a post-racial society.
The author argues that these ideologies establish and naturalise superior social positions and symbolic privileges to whites while undermining and delegitimising black women’s upward social mobility. Social media platforms enable the proponents of these beliefs not only to engage in the practice of online hate speech but also to attract a considerable number of like-minded people, creating a long-lasting echo chamber effect in the cyberspace. This way, they manage to amplify the reach and reverberation of their racist discourses in the online environment in ways not commonly seen in Brazilian offline social contexts.
This monograph is of great interest and relevance to students, scholars, and researchers across a variety of disciplines, most notably Critical Race Studies, Media Communication Studies and Critical Humour Studies, and also academics in other areas such as Critical Discourse Analysis, Postcolonial Studies, Cultural Studies and Latin American Studies.

List of figures and tables




Chapter 1 – Blackness in Brazil: past legacies still reflected today

Chapter 2 – Evolution of black Brazilian resistance to racism

Chapter 3 – Race joking, social media and the legal landscape

Chapter 4 – Anatomy of racism on social media

Chapter 5 – The embedded meaning of race joking on social media

Chapter 6 – Examining the anti-racist discursive strategies




Luiz Valério P. Trindade holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Southampton (UK). Prior to these studies, he was awarded an MPhil in Business Administration with distinction by the Universidade Nove de Julho (Brazil), where he explored the phenomenon of the lack of ethnic diversity in Brazilian printed advertising. His main areas of scholarship and research lie in the sociology of race and ethnicity, social representation of ethnic minorities in means of mass communication, critical discourse analysis, and hate speech on social media. He has also published several articles based on his research, lectured and studied in international universities, and delivered many conference presentations. He has also been interviewed by different news outlets about his studies.

Whitening ideology, mixed-race, miscegenation, mestizaje, Brazilianess, CDA, SNS, social network service, racial harmony, racial hierarchy, racial relations, whiteness, blackness, black pride, prejudice, racial prejudice, discrimination, racial discrimination, whitening, social segregation, racial segregation, national identity, gentrification, social exclusion, social role, social space, underprivileged, intersectionality, gender, race, Afro religions, Afro hairstyle, political positioning, resistance, anti-racism, social policies, affirmative actions, black movement, pillory, colonialism, patriarchal, prestigious, derogatory humour, depreciative humour, disrespectful, supremacist, white supremacist, information technology, ICT, communication technology, beliefs, belonging, outsider, margin, inclusion, social representation, empowerment, agency, anonymity, legitimate, coping strategy, tolerance, diversity, funny, racism, racial terminology, social stratification, social mobility, emancipation of slaves, racial identifier, deviance, elite, dominant group, hegemonic, marginal, joke, mulato, pardo, colonial ruling, Portugal, European immigration, plantation, sugar mill, slave master, slave owner, senzala, pelourinho, abolition, movimento negro, preto, consciência negra, beleza negra

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

No Laughing Matter: Race Joking and Resistance in Brazilian Social Media





Number of pages


Physical size



10 B&W

Publication date

October 2020