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Favelization of the city: the contemporary construction of "favelado" as violence and consumption in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

Grant number: 14/10212-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2014
Effective date (End): August 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Urban Sociology
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Gabriel de Santis Feltran
Grantee:Evelyn Louyse Godoy Postigo
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07616-7 - CEM - Center for Metropolitan Studies, AP.CEPID


The understanding of Rio's favelas as a “social problem” is not new. Representations of favelas as territories of poverty and violence has guided interactions that takes place in contemporary Brazil. Currently, the main state program facing ”favelas's issue” in Rio de Janeiro are the Pacifying Police Units - UPP, based on state presumed need for urban restructuring looking forward prevention of ”urban violence". Such a context is paradoxically coexistent with the understanding of favelas also as “potential consumers” and how “culture to be consumed". Based on this, this project aims to reflect on the contemporary construction of public representations of favelas in Rio de Janeiro, as well as on the production of identities and subjectivities of favelados (favela's dwellers), i.e. the construction of subjects, especially under the signs of ”violence” and ”consumption". In a more general level, the aim is to understand the social conflict puzzle that emerges from this paradoxically context. The hypothesis is that this public representation on favelas results in polarized perspectives of imminent threat, or its opposite, a ”culture to be consumed” and a ”potential customer”. The project proposed two methodological research procedures: I) documental research in a history favelas's representations; II) ethnography of everyday interactions of different individuals from favelas, in their urban mobilities. The construction of identities linked to the collective experiences itself will be at the core of project's reflection. (AU)

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