Risky closeness and distance in two fieldwork sites in Brazil

Published on Oct 2, 2018in Contemporary social science
· DOI :10.1080/21582041.2017.1418524
Andreza Aruska de Souza Santos1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Oxford)
ABSTRACTThis article discusses how closeness and distance affected my ethnographic research in two Brazilian cities. I first address the pitfalls I encountered researching Luz, a run-down transportation hub and residential area in Sao Paulo’s city centre, also known as Crackland for its drug trade and consumption. In Luz, I was confronted with everyday hostility in an environment of unknown others and an ever-changing cityscape: users of cultural offerings, temporary residents and by-passers, police removal of drug users, house evictions and demolition in deteriorated buildings, and contentious and short-lived state policies with regard to the area. The second part of the article contrasts this experience with living and conducting research in Ouro Preto, a Brazilian UNESCO World heritage site where residents have a strong sense of social cohesion. While, for me, the violence and disorder of Luz made conducting research there impossible, the strong networks and familiarity in Ouro Preto created its own ch...
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#1Katia Levecque (UGent: Ghent University)H-Index: 16
#2Frederik Anseel (UGent: Ghent University)H-Index: 21
Last.Lydia GisleH-Index: 7
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