The entangled city

Crime as urban fabric in São Paulo

Author: Gabriel Feltran

This book tells the story of the ‘world of crime’ in São Paulo. In so doing, it presents a new framework to understand urban conflict in many other contexts. Chapters are based on ethnographic fieldwork started in 1997, when Brazil's elites still hoped to achieve the integration of the country into a modern global order, and of the urban poor into a prosperous nation. Both integration projects placed their hopes in the city of São Paulo. The metropolitan region had grown in population from 2.6 million in 1950, to 12.5 million in 1980. This demographic explosion manifested in the rapid expansion of self-constructed favelas, clandestine subdivisions and working-class neighbourhoods. Besides migration, the central pillars for the occupation of these territories until the 1980s were factory work, the family and Catholic religiosity. These pillars have shifted radically since urbanisation. Schooling, access to services and urban infrastructure, although still precarious, have all grown considerably. Rural to urban migration slowed; there was a dramatic transition in popular religious practices and average fertility plummeted from 7.1 to 1.4 children per woman in just 40 years. Since then, two generations have been born and grown up in an urban world radically different from that in which their parents lived. However, it is the expansion of the ‘world of crime’ – a social universe and form of everyday authority established around global illegal markets that would most radically transform the social dynamics of the city.

Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

    • Full book PDF download (with hyperlinks)
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 275 275 32
Full Text Views 77 77 0
PDF Downloads 110 110 7