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Between "nóia" and Christian: an ethnography of religious conversion of crack users in São Paulo

Grant number: 13/00966-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2013
Effective date (End): December 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Urban Sociology
Principal researcher:Gabriel de Santis Feltran
Grantee:Deborah Rio Fromm Feltran
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


This ethnographic research studies the religious conversion of crack users to Protestantism. Therefore, I realize visits since September 2011, to Baptist Mission Cristolândia, located in the region stigmatized as "cracolândia", in downtown São Paulo. The proliferation of so-called "cracolândias" issue is currently debated by various social actors (managers, politicians, intellectuals, journalists, etc.), Which mobilizes different spheres of social life (health, welfare, repression, family etc.). However, little has been systematically studied about the growing role of the Church, more specifically evangelical churches in assistance and conversion of so-called "nóias." The central objective of this project is to describe and analyze a political evangelical, Baptist, aimed against the crack through the specific context of the Mission Cristolândia. Specifically, we intend to: I) understand the perspective of evangelicals, the "ex-nóias" converts and crack users about converting to Protestantism, II) describe and analyze the conversion technologies employed by the mission in order to investigate the strategies, approaches and interventions to target public III) describe and analyze the dynamics of the conversion process of crack users, IV) discuss the transformation of the individual due process of religious conversion, paying attention to the constitution of the state of "ex-noia". (AU)

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