Cities From Scratch: Poverty and Informality in Urban Latin America

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Brodwyn Fischer, Bryan McCann, Javier Auyero
Duke University Press, Feb 28, 2014 - History - 304 pages
This collection of essays challenges long-entrenched ideas about the history, nature, and significance of the informal neighborhoods that house the vast majority of Latin America's urban poor. Until recently, scholars have mainly viewed these settlements through the prisms of crime and drug-related violence, modernization and development theories, populist or revolutionary politics, or debates about the cultures of poverty. Yet shantytowns have proven both more durable and more multifaceted than any of these perspectives foresaw. Far from being accidental offshoots of more dynamic economic and political developments, they are now a permanent and integral part of Latin America's urban societies, critical to struggles over democratization, economic transformation, identity politics, and the drug and arms trades. Integrating historical, cultural, and social scientific methodologies, this collection brings together recent research from across Latin America, from the informal neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City, Managua and Buenos Aires. Amid alarmist exposés, Cities from Scratch intervenes by considering Latin American shantytowns at a new level of interdisciplinary complexity.

Contributors. Javier Auyero, Mariana Cavalcanti, Ratão Diniz, Emilio Duhau, Sujatha Fernandes, Brodwyn Fischer, Bryan McCann, Edward Murphy, Dennis Rodgers

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Introduction Brodwyn Fischer
Crisis Politics and the Intellectual History of Brazils Informal Cities Brodwyn Fischer
Urban Land Seizures and Homeownership in Santiago Chile Edward Murphy
The Intertwining Histories of the Morro dos Cabritos and Bairro Peixoto Bryan McCann
Kinship Politics and Local Territorialization in Urban Nicaragua Dennis Rodgers
An Enduring Slum or a Progressive Habitat? Emilio Duhau
Six The Favelas of Rio de Janeiro Ratão Diniz with captions by Bryan McCann
The Case of the Teatro Alameda Sujatha Fernandes
The Production of RealEstate Value between the Favela and the Pavement Mariana Cavalcanti
Flammable Shantytown Revisited Javier Auyero

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About the author (2014)

Brodwyn Fischer is Professor of History at the University of Chicago. She is the author of A Poverty of Rights: Citizenship and Inequality in Twentieth-Century Rio de Janeiro.

Bryan McCann is Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University. He is the author of Hard Times in the Marvelous City: From Dictatorship to Democracy in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro and Hello, Hello Brazil: Popular Music in the Making of Modern Brazil, both also published by Duke University Press.

Javier Auyero is the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Professor of Latin American Sociology at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of Patients of the State: The Politics of Waiting in Argentina, Contentious Lives: Two Argentine Women, Two Protests, and the Quest for Recognition, Poor People's Politics: Peronist Survival Networks and the Legacy of Evita, all also published by Duke University Press.

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