The Invention of the Favela

The Invention of the Favela


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For the first time available in English, Licia do Prado Valladares's classic anthropological study of Brazil's vast, densely populated urban living environments reveals how the idea of the favela became an internationally established—and even attractive and exotic—representation of poverty. The study traces how the term "favela" emerged as an analytic category beginning in the mid-1960s, showing how it became the object of immense popular debate and sustained social science research. But the concept of the favela so favored by social scientists is not, Valladares argues, a straightforward reflection of its social reality, and it often obscures more than it reveals.

The established representation of favelas undercuts more complex, accurate, and historicized explanations of Brazilian development. It marks and perpetuates favelas as zones of exception rather than as integral to Brazil's modernization over the past century. And it has had important repercussions for the direction of research and policy affecting the lives of millions of Brazilians. Valladares's foundational book will be welcomed by all who seek to understand Brazil's evolution into the twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469649986
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 06/10/2019
Series: Latin America in Translation/en Traducción/em Tradução
Pages: 286
Sales rank: 1,210,602
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Licia do Prado Valladares, retired professor of sociology at Instituto Universitario de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro, University Candido Mendes, and University of Lille 1, is now an associate researcher at Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Politicos da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Robert N. Anderson is teaching assistant professor of Portuguese and coordinator of languages across the curriculum at the Center for Global Initiatives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the translator of Brazil: A Century of Change.

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From the Publisher

Valladares's incisive intellectual history of favelas provides an extremely important framework not only for correcting misperceptions about the history of favelas but also for understanding how contemporary notions of favelas have been constructed and are, in many ways, both contingent and politicized. This new and updated translation will make an important and useful contribution to debates on similar urban studies issues throughout Latin America."—Enrique Desmond Arias, Baruch College, City University of New York

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