Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 August 2013
The present study investigates the arguments used by university students in order to explain social differences between social minorities and majorities. In Brazil, the issues investigated refer to White and Black people. In Spain, the reference is to native Spaniards and Moroccan immigrants. The participants were 144 Brazilians and 93 Spaniards, who answered a questionnaire composed of socio-demographic variables and one open question about the causes of social inequalities between Black and White people in Brazil and between autochthonous Spaniards and Moroccan Immigrants. A model is proposed to integrate the four discursive classes found using ALCESTE software. In Brazil, the strongest argument is based on the historical roots of the exploitation of Black people. In Spain, cultural differences are the main explanation for social inequalities.