Oliveira Viana, Francisco José de (1883–1951)

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Oliveira Viana, Francisco José de (1883–1951)

Known for his cultural and sociological studies of his native Brazil, Oliveira Viana was born in Saquarema on June 20, 1883. He graduated in 1906 from the Rio de Janeiro School of Law and went on to become a professor there in 1916. He was a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters and the Brazilian Historical and Geographic Institute.

Oliveira Viana took up journalism in the first decades of the twentieth century, writing for the newspapers Diário Fluminense and A Capital as well as for A Imprensa, O Paiz, and Revista do Brasil. He seldom practiced law, instead devoting himself to studying domestic issues, especially questions of Brazilian development. In 1920 he published Populaçoes meridionais do Brasil (Meridional Populations of Brazil), a seminal work on Brazilian culture that became a benchmark for his generation.

Throughout his life Oliveira Viana was intensely engaged in both professional and intellectual activities. Among other positions, he served as director of the Rio de Janeiro State Development Institute (1926); legal adviser to the Ministry of Labor; member of the State Advisory Board, Special Constitutional Review Commission, and Law Review Commission of the Ministry of Justice and Domestic Commerce; and minister of the Federal Audit Court. He died in Niterói, on March 28, 1951.

Oliveira Viana's writings are considered a milestone of a new phase in Brazilian conservative thought, based on an interpretation of Brazilian society from an analysis that valued national authors and references, searching to understand Brazil through its internal dynamics. They include Pequenos estudos de psicologia social (1921), O idealismo na evolução política do Império e da República (1922), Evolução do povo brasileiro (1923), O idealismo na Constituição (1927), Problemas de política objetiva (1930), Raça e assimilação (1932), As novas diretrizes da política social (1939), Os grandes problemas sociais (1942), and Instituições políticas brasileiras (1949).

See alsoJournalism .


Bastos, Elide Rugai, and João Quartim Moraes, eds. O pensamento de Oliveira Viana. Campinas, Brazil: Editora da Unicamp, 1993.

Torres, Vasconcellos. Oliveira Viana: Sua vida e sua posição nos Estudos Brasileiros de sociologia. Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo: Freitas Bastos, 1956.

Vélez Rodríguez, Ricardo. Oliveira Viana e o papel modernizador do Estado Brasileiro. Londrina, Brazil: Editora da Universidade Estadual de Londrina, 1997.

                                    Fernando Vale Castro

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Oliveira Viana, Francisco José de (1883–1951)

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