Boundaries of difference
On essence and deconstruction
in The entangled city
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This chapter presents the book’s analytical framework and analyses three micro-scenes of interaction, arguing that everyday life plays a critical role in the objectification of differentiation. With special focus on the third interaction, involving the representation of peripheries and the ‘world of crime’ in São Paulo, it discusses how difference operates when the marginals appear to be getting closer to the established middle classes. Native categories and analytical concepts are both understood here as intervals of plausible meaning, a formal structure where contents are always mutually situated and constructed within the normative ideal boundaries established by routine use. The ethnographic reflection on the three empirical situations gives rise to a broader interpretation of how the recent authoritarian wave in Brazil is based on the construction of ideal categories. The authoritarians rely on how gender and state, as well as race, religion, family, class, sexuality and crime are entangled to serve their national project. The aim is to debate how the contemporary social life flows intertwine the production of those ideals, and to reflect on how the aesthetic of their emergence in the quotidian impacts on the construction of the general public sphere.

The entangled city

Crime as urban fabric in São Paulo

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