'Governance from within in São Paulo's Favelas'

Basile, Patricia, Constructed Environment - School of Architecture, University of Virginia
Bassett, Ellen, Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, University of Virginia

Favela is a term used to categorize self-built urban communities in Brazilian cities that are widely considered precarious, disordered, chaotic, and illegal. These characterizations have contributed to the stigmatization and criminalization of favelas and their residents, totaling over 11 million people in Brazil today. Drawing from six months of ethnographic fieldwork in two favelas in the city of São Paulo, this project provides a detailed understanding of favela residents’ efforts towards a process of self-governance through the production and maintenance of space, through everyday practices and collective mobilization. The analyzed cases offer insights into residents’ modes and levels of grouping and action, including the family as the most fundamental unit of self-governance efforts in these two communities. While grasping with favelas’ logic of spatial formation and organization, this dissertation contributes to the conceptualization of favelas as sites of resistance and political claims for the materialization of favela residents’ fundamental rights as Brazilian citizens.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
favelas, self-governance, space, São Paulo
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