• "Effects of Racial Discrimination on High School Performance and College Admission in Brazil." (diss) UMI ProQuest (.pdf)
Supervising Professor: Dr. Brian J. L. Berry
Racial discrimination against African-descendants in Brazil is an under analyzed and vastly pervasive problem in different levels of the educational system but most visible specifically in high schools students interactions. Racial discrimination in the school environment can be detrimental to the learning experience and associated with a negative quality of education. In this dissertation I explore the impact of racial discrimination in high school students using the socio-economic questionnaire of the Exame Nacional do Ensino Medio (National Secondary Education Exam - ENEM) between 2004 and 2008. The analysis indicates that students who were not victims of racial discrimination had a more positive quality of education than those who suffered racial discrimination and being a victim of racism can reduce a student's ENEM scores.
Peer Reviewed Articles:
• NEW! Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. and Valente, R.R. "Livability and Subjective Well-Being Across European Cities." Applied Research in Quality of Life 2018 (.pdf)
This study documents for the first time the correlation between livability and subjective well-being (SWB) across European cities. Livability is measured with the popular Mercer Quality of Living Survey and correlates considerably with SWB, measured as place and life satisfactions. There are outliers, for instance: the “unlivable” but “happy” Belfast (fool’s paradise) and the “livable,” but “unhappy” Paris
(fool’s hell). In addition, we find geographic patterns: while the Mercer index ranks higher Western cities, subjective well-being is higher in Northern cities. Smaller cities score higher on both livability and SWB, confirming thus the urban sociological theory of urban malaise while contradicting urban economic theory of city triumph.
• NEW! Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. and Valente, R.R. "Life Satisfaction of Career Women and Housewives." Applied Research in Quality of Life 2017 (.pdf)
Profound changes in gender roles have taken place over the past several decades in the United States. Women’s roles have changed most: women are marrying later in life and at lower rates, having fewer children, and working more outside of the household. “Career women” are the new normal and housewifery has gone out of fashion. At the same time, women have become less happy. We use the US General Social Surveys from 1972 to 2014 to explore these latest trends. We find that, until recently, women were happier to be housewives or to work part-time than fulltime, especially, women who are older, married, with children, in middle or upper class, and living in suburbs or smaller places. The effect size of housewifery on subjective wellbeing (SWB) is mild to moderate, at about a fourth to a third of the effect of being unemployed. Therefore, we argue that one possible reason for the decline in average happiness for women was increased labor force participation. Yet, the happiness advantage of housewifery is declining among younger cohorts and career women may become happier than housewives in the future
• NEW! Valente, R.R. and Holmes, J.S. "Vamos Para Rua! Taking to the Streets - Protest in Brazil." Brasiliana - Journal for Brazilian Studies 5(2): 2017 (.pdf)
The unprecedented protests that unfolded in June 2013 in Brazil, surprised even the most observant Brazilian scholars. A local conflict over the increase of public transportation fare took an unexpected turn and ignited a massive nationwide mobilization. These protests have perplexed many because Brazil was not experiencing the context of economic or political instabilities that are common to other countries around the world, where massive protests have emerged. Using data from the World Values Survey, we developed a general analysis highlighting individual factors that were significant in explaining protest participation among Brazilians to shed light on possible indicators that could have predicted the recent mobilizations. In particular, this work seeks to understand the extent to which a change from materialist to post-materialist values, as theorized by Inglehart (1971), could contribute towards explaining the recent protests in Brazil. Our findings demonstrate that post-materialist values are a significant explanatory force in determining political participation in Brazil.
• NEW! Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Performance of Students Admitted through Affirmative Action in Brazil." Latin American Research Review, 52(1): 18-34, 2017 (.pdf)
Following the implementation of Lei das Cotas (Affirmative Action Law) in Brazil, there has been debate on whether or not students who were admitted through affirmative action perform at the same level as students who were admitted through traditional methods. This paper examines the results of the ENADE (Exame Nacional de Desempenho dos Estudantes) examination in 2009-2012 to determine whether or not there is a relationship between students' performance at the university level and the manner of their admittance. We find that students who were admitted to public universities under affirmative action perform at similar levels to students who were not, while quota students in private universities perform slightly better than students admitted through traditional methods.
• Valente, R.R. "The Vicious Circle: Effects of Race and Class on University Entrance in Brazil." Race Ethnicity and Education. 20(6): 851-864, 2017 (.pdf)
Brazil has high levels of socio-economic inequality and an inequitable distribution of access to higher education. How much of this inequality is associated with race or class is an important question in light of current debate over affirmative action and the suitability of race and social targeted policies. There are those who claim that racial disparities in the educational system are a result of students' social status and not a result of racism, while others believe race is an important factor that superposes the effect of class. This study uses national data from Brazil's Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio (National Secondary Education Exam - ENEM) to examine the relationship between race and access to higher education of high school students between 2004 and 2008. The results document a vicious circle which connects the schooling of the young with their race, socio-economic status, and university attendance.
• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Effects of Perceived Discrimination on the School Satisfaction of Brazilian High School Graduates." Brasiliana - Journal for Brazilian Studies, 5(1): 405-440, 2016 (.pdf)
This paper analyzes the consequences of peer victimization for the satisfaction with schooling ("happiness") of college-bound high school graduates in Brazil. Several types of victimization are explored including discrimination due to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and disability. We compare the satisfaction with their schooling of students planning to head to college straight from high school and older students applying for college later in life ("nontraditional students"). We conclude that students who perceived that they had been discriminated against were more dissatisfied with their school experience than those who did not, ceteris paribus, and we relate level of dissatisfaction to type of discrimination. The older student evidence reveals that this dissatisfaction wanes with time and age, however. Our conclusions are based upon ordered logistic analyses of data for 2.4 million current high school seniors and 78.7 thousand older students drawn from the Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio questionnaire (ENEM).
• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Acculturation of Immigrant Latinos into the U.S. Workplace: Evidence from the Working Hours-Life Satisfaction Relationship." Applied Research in Quality of Life, 12(2): 451-479, 2016 (.pdf)
This paper explores the working hours-happiness relationship of Latinos living in the United States and compares it with that of the host society. We find that immigrant Latinos have adopted American work-happiness relationships while having lower levels of subjective well-being. Acculturation plays an important role not only with respect to work attitudes, but also to social status, and it is the latter that affects the well-being of Latinos of color. Future quality-of-life research needs to analyze whether the dichotomy between work attitude and social status will persist or whether this vibrant and increasing group of immigrants who are so vital to the U.S. economy will both adapt to host society values and begin to introduce positive change in those values in a society where multiculturalism is on the rise.
• Valente, R.R. "The Impact of Race and Social Economic Status on University Admission at the University of São Paulo." Latin American & Caribbean Ethnic Studies, 11(2): 95-118, 2016 (.pdf)
This paper explores the relationship between race, class, and access to higher education by analyzing the characteristics of students admitted to the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil from 2004 to 2008. Employing novel data, the logistic regression results indicate that those accepted at USP are more likely to be white, from affluent families, to have studied in private high schools, to have enrolled in prep courses, and to have a mother who attained higher education. The findings posit that the lack of accessibility for nonwhites and lower income status students to higher education in Brazil, as exemplified by this case study, is an impediment to social mobility. The implications of these findings for future research and policy are discussed.
• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Dissatisfaction with city life? Latin America revisited." Cities 50, 62-67, 2016. (.pdf)
Data from the World Values Survey and AmericasBarometer are used in ordinal logistic models to evaluate life satisfaction in rural and urban areas in Latin America. Our findings indicate that, unlike the United States, in Latin America there is no evidence of rural-urban happiness differences. In Latin America familism is the key driving force, aspacial and transcending location.
• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Working Hours and Life Satisfaction: A cross-cultural comparison of Latin America and the United States." Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(3): 1173-1204, 2016 (.pdf)
This paper compares the life satisfaction and working hours of Latin Americans and U.S. Americans using the AmericasBarometer and General Social Survey. Differences in cultural values, especially individualism versus familism, may be why Latin Americans are less happy than U.S. Americans when working longer hours.
• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Countering Inequality: Brazil's Movimento Sem-Terra." Geographical Review 105(3): 1-20, July 2015 (.pdf)
Data from the Pesquisa Nacional de Educação na Reforma Agr&aaculte;ria (PNERA), the national survey of formerly-landless peasants residing in federal land reform settlements in Brazil, confirm that the Movimento Sem-Terra (MST) has been far more successful than other settlement movements in assuring a better quality of life for its members. This superior performance is attributed to an organizational structure that demands and assures membership involvement, and a commitment to participatory education in an environment that fosters and supports MST's goals and objectives. MST's members have higher self-perceived social status than members of non-MST movements, have better residential environments and more material possessions, and experience an education that emphasizes the movement's principles of social justice, radical democracy and humanist and socialist values.
• Valente, R.R. "Institutional Explanations for the Decline of the Congregação Cristã no Brasil." PentecoStudies 14(1), 2015 (.pdf)
For the first time since its inception, the Congregação Cristã no Brasil (CCB) has lost members—two hundred thousand members in the last decade—while other traditional Pentecostal churches' membership continue to grow. Based on survey research data, this study explores the diverse views of church members and how institutional factors affect the growth of the church.
• Valente, R.R. "From Inception to Present: The Diminishing Role of Women in the Congregação Cristã no Brasil." PNEUMA 37(1), 2015 (.pdf)
This article provides the first historical analysis of the role of women in the Congregação Cristã no Brasil, the oldest Pentecostal church in Brazil and the largest in the state of São Paulo. Drawing on qualitative data, this study also explores the diverse views of church members and their attitudes in regards to the current status of women in the church. In addition to providing empirical data on this denominational group, the article engages the wider debate about the role of women in the Pentecostal religious context.