Underground Sociabilities: Identity, Culture and Resistance in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas

Sandra Jovchelovitch, Jacqueline Priego Hernandez

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This is a book about patterns of sociability and social development in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It examines how favela communities, despite harsh conditions of living, poverty and segregation, have been able to mobilise local resources to resist exclusion, fight off marginalisation and rewrite relations between the favelas and the city. Drawing on a psychosocial study of four favela communities – Cantagalo, Madureira, City of God and Vigario Geral – the book maps out routes of socialisation in the favelas and systematises the work of local grassroots organisations AfroReggae and CUFA. It explores the institutional and behavioural determinants of life choices in these communities, the dynamics of agency in contexts of deprivation and how positive action for change emerges. The book shows that individual and social factors interact to shape choices and decision-making in the routes of socialisation. These include the institutional framework of favela life, the levels of porosity in the borders between the favelas and the city and the psychosocial scaffoldings that support and mediate how people deal with contextual adversity.

The book will be useful to academics in the social sciences and humanities, policymakers, activists and all those who are interested in human-centred social and community development, urban planning, and communication across asymmetries in the contemporary city.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages244
ISBN (Print)978-8576521808
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2013


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