As a history of family life in the squatter settlements of Rio de Janeiro from the 1940s to the 1960s, this study shatters the myth of household disorganization said to be the norm among the urban poor. Using quantitative evidence, field reports by social workers, newspaper accounts, and the recollections of the squatters themselves, the study dissects household structure, economic activity, living standards, and political participation among the one million favelados (squatters) living in Rio by 1960, singling out three favelas for comparative analysis. Favelados prized family life, and most succeeded in holding their households together against daunting odds. Shantytowns provided residence close to the workplace, and some were erected literally in the shadow of the construction projects where the squatters worked. Indeed, the location and economic activity of the surrounding neighborhood largely determined the ability of the favela to survive. As squatters became an important part of the city work force, they mobilized to put pressure on the authorities to provide collective services like water and electricity.
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This work is an historical approach to shantytowns, challenging the notion of a permanent underclass trapped in poverty from one generation to the next.About the Author:
JULIO CÉSAR PINO is Associate Professor of History at Kent State University.
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Book Description Praeger, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0313303622