A Poverty of Rights: Citizenship and Inequality in Twentieth-century Rio de Janeiro

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Stanford University Press, 2008 - History - 464 pages
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A Poverty of Rights is an investigation of the knotty ties between citizenship and inequality during the years when the legal and institutional bases for modern Brazilian citizenship originated. Between 1930 and 1964, Brazilian law dramatically extended its range and power, and citizenship began to signify real political, economic, and civil rights for common people. And yet, even in Rio de Janeiro Brazil's national capital until 1960 this process did not include everyone. Rio's poorest residents sought with hope, imagination, and will to claim myriad forms of citizenship as their own. Yet, blocked by bureaucratic obstacles or ignored by unrealistic laws, they found that their poverty remained one of rights as well as resources. At the end of a period most notable for citizenship's expansion, Rio's poor still found themselves akin to illegal immigrants in their own land, negotiating important components of their lives outside of the boundaries and protections of laws and rights, their vulnerability increasingly critical to important networks of profit and political power. In exploring this process, Brodwyn Fischer offers a critical re-interpretation not only of Brazil's Vargas regime, but also of Rio's twentieth-century urban history and of the broader significance of law, rights, and informality in the lives of the very poor.

 

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Contents

Rights to the Marvelous City
13
A favela vai abaixo
15
The City of Hills and Swamps
19
Rio and Brazils Postwar Republic
50
The Morro of Santo Antônio
83
Work Law and Justiça Social in Vargass Rio
87
On the Borders of Social Class
89
Vargas and the Voz do Povo
91
Positivist Criminology and Paper Poverty
186
Owning the Illegal City
211
Urban Ground
213
Informality in Law and Custom
219
The Land Wars of Rio de Janeiro
253
É uma cidade no duro
301
Poverty and Citizenship
305
Statistical Appendixes
319

Word into Law Work and Family in VargasEra Legislation
116
Work Welfare and Citizenship
143
Rights Poverty in the Criminal Courts
149
Judicial Honor in the Morro
151
The Poor in Classical Criminal Law
153
Notes
331
Bibliography
415
Index
447
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About the author (2008)

Brodwyn Fischer is Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University.

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