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"His life is hanging in my hand". social, political and economic dynamics of loan sharking in the peripheries of São Paulo

Grant number: 21/05226-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Urban Sociology
Principal researcher:Gabriel de Santis Feltran
Grantee:Fernanda de Gobbi
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:20/07160-7 - Global cars: a transnational urban research on vehicle informal economies (Europe, Africa and South America), AP.TEM


The studies of informal-illegal transactions, popular finance and the credit market have been consolidated in the Social Sciences. However, few studies have focused on the interfaces between the social and power dynamics embedded in the circulation of money in contemporary urban peripheries. The general objective of this project is to map the social, political and economic dynamics inscribed in the practice of loan sharking in the peripheries of São Paulo. The fieldwork will be developed in three stages: a) analysis of debt histories recorded by loan sharks; b) ethnographic observation of the practice of popular loan sharking in the eastern zone of São Paulo and c) analysis of descriptive situations obtained in interviews with the loan sharks and the members of their networks. The fieldwork will take place in a district in the far east of São Paulo, fictitiously called here Vila Alfa.

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