“Places you shouldn't go to”: (Im)mobility, violence and democracy in Brazil and South Africa



violence, mobility, social inequalities, violencia, movilidad, desigualdades sociales


Pursuing the broader political effects of the relationship between violence, mobility, and inequality, the article describes some of the grounded political-economies (re)producing social inequalities in Brazil and South Africa, and a discontinuous experience of the urban space. This fragmented spatial experience is produced by the simultaneous operation of a discursive apparatus projecting a split ideal of “city”, and grounded social mechanics, in the intersection of values and power relations. In Johannesburg, South Africa, we’ve described the creation of Maboneng, a “urban development project”, to highlight the role of social mobility and growing class aspirations as powerful political vehicles for neoliberal markets reissuing old apartheid socio-spatial divisions. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we’ve explored the relationship between the State and its margins to understand the production of the milícia as a violent anti-modern capitalist venture, aiming to control the circulation of people, capital and political support in the city.

Siguiendo los efectos políticos más amplios de la relación entre violencia, movilidad y desigualdad, el artículo describe la forma en que algunas políticas económicas arraigadas (re)producen desigualdades sociales en Brasil y Sudáfrica, una experiencia discontinua del espacio urbano. Esta experiencia espacial fragmentada es producto de la operación simultánea de un aparato discursivo que proyecta un ideal escindido de “ciudad” y mecanismos sociales arraigados, en una intersección de valores y relaciones de poder. En Johannesburgo, Sudáfrica, describimos la creación de Maboneng, un “proyecto de desarrollo urbano”, para destacar el rol de la movilidad social y de las crecientes aspiraciones de clase como potentes vehículos políticos para que los mercados neoliberales reediten viejas divisiones socio-espaciales del apartheid. En Río de Janeiro, Brasil, analizamos la relación entre el Estado y sus márgenes a fin de entender la producción de la milícia como riesgo capitalista antimoderno violento que tiene el propósito de controlar la circulación de personas, capital y apoyo político.

Available from: https://doi.org/10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-1221


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Author Biographies

Elizabete Ribeiro Albernaz, Universidade Federal Fluminense

Elizabete Albernaz is a Ph.D. in Anthropology, Visiting Researcher at Wits University (South Africa), and vice-coordinator of the Laboratory of Studies on Conflict, Citizenship and Public Security (LAESP / UFF) at Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói, Brazil. Contact address: 501, Dumbarton Oaks, 2nd Avenue, Killarney, 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa. Email: elizabetealbernaz@id.uff.br

Lenin Pires, Universidade Federal Fluminense

Lenin Pires is a PhD in Anthropology, Professor of the Public Security Department and Director of the National Institute of Comparative Studies in Conflict Management (InCT-INEAC), both at Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói, Brazil. Contact address: Prof. Hernani Pires de Mello, 84 - Ingá, Niterói - RJ, 24210-130, Brazil. Email: leninpires@id.uff.br  



How to Cite

Albernaz, E. R. and Pires, L. (2021) “‘Places you shouldn’t go to’: (Im)mobility, violence and democracy in Brazil and South Africa”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 11(6), pp. 1365–1391. Available at: https://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/article/view/1333 (Accessed: 24 May 2024).