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Favela : Four decades of living on the edge in Rio de Janeiro

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Favela : Four decades of living on the edge in Rio de Janeiro


, squat, bidonville, favela, migrant, sociologie urbaine, emploi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brésil, Perlman Janice


Abstract from the publisher :
A billion people, almost half of all city dwellers in the developing world, live in squatter settlements. The most famous of these settlements are the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, which have existed for over a century and continue to outpace the rest of the city in growth.

Janice Perlman's award-winning The Myth of Marginality was the first in-depth account of life in the favelas, and it is considered one of the most important books in global urban studies in the last 40 years. Now, in Favela , Perlman carries that story forward to the present. Re-interviewing many longtime favela residents whom she had first met in 1969--as well as their children and grandchildren--Perlman offers the only long-term perspective available on the favela families as they struggle for a better life. Perlman discovers that much has changed in four decades, but while educational levels have risen, democracy has replaced dictatorship, and material conditions have improved, many residents feel more marginalized than ever. The greatest change is the explosion of drug and arms trade and the high incidence of fatal violence that has resulted. Almost one in five people report that a member of their family has been a victim of homicide. Yet the highest priority for the residents is jobs. Above all they want a chance to do decent work for decent pay. If unemployment and under-employment are not addressed, Perlman argues, all other efforts - from housing to public security to community upgrading - will fail to resolve the fundamental issues.

A revealing study of the giant squatter settlements of Rio de Janeiro and of the vibrant communities of migrants who have risked everything to come to the city to provide more opportunities for their children, Favela offers a powerful look at one of the great challenges facing the modern world.
Janice Perlman is President and Founder of the Mega-Cities Project. Winner of a Guggenheim Award, she has been Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of California-Berkeley, Visiting Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Columbia University, and a Senior Research Scholar at New York University. She is also the author of The Myth of Marginality: Urban Poverty and Politics in Rio de Janeiro , winner of the 1976 C. Wright Mills Award.


Janice Perlman


Oxford University Press USA


May 2010