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Underground Sociabilities: identity, culture, and resistance in Rio de Janeiro's favelas

Sandra Jovchelovitch and Jacqueline Priego-Hernández
UNESCO: Brasilia (22 October 2013)

This book reports on research directed by LSE and supported by a pioneering partnership between AfroReggae, CUFA, LSE, Itaú Cultural and Itaú Social Foundation (the charitable foundations of Itaú Bank), and UNESCO Brasilia Office. The study engaged advisors from academia, social movements, policy communities, industry and government. Its methodology was participatory, consulting stakeholders throughout the process.

Underground Sociabilities investigated pathways of exclusion and social development in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. It examined the lived world of favela communities and the work of two local organisations, AfroReggae and CUFA, to systematise and disseminate effective experiences of social development.

The book brings to light the underground sociabilities of the favelas, the social life that is part of day-to-day Brazilian society, but remains invisible due to geographic, economic, symbolic, behavioural, and cultural barriers. The book shows that, despite the violence and pervasive presence of the drug trade in favela communities, resistance to criminal activities is possible and disseminated in the favela world. This resistance is enabled by psychosocial scaffoldings - actions and structures of support provided by people and institutions - that help individuals and communities to challenge stereotypes, cross symbolic and material barriers in the city and build positive identities for themselves and their communities.

  • Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch is Professor of Social Psychology and Director of the MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology in the Department of Social Psychology at LSE.
  • Dr Jacqueline Priego-Hernández is a Research Officer in the Department of Social Psychology at LSE.

The book is available in both English and Portuguese. For more information and to download copies, click here|.

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Underground Sociabilities