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Favela: Four Decades of Living on the Edge in Rio de Janeiro

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Janice Perlman wrote the first in-depth account of life in the favelas, a book hailed as one of the most important works in global urban studies in the last 30 years. Now, in Favela, Perlman carries that story forward to the present. Re-interviewing many longtime favela residents whom she had first met in 1969--as well as their children and grandchildren--Perlman offers ...more
Hardcover, 412 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published September 1st 2009)
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Michael Burnam-Fink
Jul 08, 2011 Michael Burnam-Fink rated it really liked it
Shelves: academic, 2011
Favela is a sociological triumph, the distillation of decades of experience in Favela of Rio De Janeiro, and an important book for anybody interested in urban living, State power, and the future of humanity. The majority of the population now lives in cities, and the fastest growing cities are the informal shanty-towns surrounding the old urban centers. This is where the bottom billion lives, outside the reach of government planning and oversight, and the ways in which survive will in large part ...more
Dense and excellent. It's difficult to maintain coherence across something this long and all encompassing while keeping much more to an academic style of writing that a journalistic one, with copious use of statistics, theoretical structuring and in-depth methodological explanation, but it just about works. The result is endlessly multifaceted and impossible to reduce to one conclusion or approach. Things are better and they are not.
Rachel G.
Aug 09, 2012 Rachel G. rated it liked it
While interesting, I was disappointed that there were fewer concrete conclusions that I had expected. It's also interesting how outdated some of the more recent information is, given the rapid changes in Rio. Also, this could have used better editing, particularly with the parts in Portuguese and some of the translated vocabulary in English. Definitely interesting, though there was very little information that was new or revealing.
Lucy Pollard-Gott
Jul 27, 2013 Lucy Pollard-Gott rated it it was amazing
With "World Youth Day" taking place in Rio this week, and crowds of a million people gathering on the beach, I pulled this book out again. This is what I wrote when I first started the book:

This is an amazing book. I have read about half of it, but couldn't wait to post a review and my highest recommendation. Dr. Perlman, professor and founder/president of the Mega-Cities Project, shares the stories of people she has followed over four decades in the favela and conjunto communities of Rio de Jan
Apr 17, 2016 Craig1colo rated it really liked it
This is a solid look at a longitudinal study of people in Rio favelas. Perlman provides both a clear description of methodology and results from her original work as well as results of the follow up research 30 years later.

Read this book if you want a good description of the process of urbanization as realized in Rio, the impact of governmental chaos coupled with indifference, deindustrialization, the cheapening of manual work, and the emergence of drug/criminal enterprise as a substitute for la
Oct 05, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good crash course in history of Brazil as context for
development and status of Rio's favelas. The author's renewed
acquaintance and friendship with some favela families, 40 years
after she first interviewed them, sets up a rare chance to
see what has changed, and what has not, in these vibrant marginal
communities, through and beyond drastic political and economic
Dec 06, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it
I'm a fan of longitudinal studies - and this one doesn't disappoint. Except it does in that its very depressing to see how many of the original participants in Perlman's study ended up 30 years later. Perlman does a good job of weaving an interesting story with academic prose.
Margaret Sankey
Jul 03, 2012 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
Long-range sociological study of the favelas in Rio--I picked this up interested in how the Olympics will reshape the human geography of the city and the underground economy of the neighborhoods.
Apr 12, 2013 David rated it it was ok
Great portrait of Rio, but a little disorganized, science-scarce, and full of typographical/editing errors. Not an anthropology fan.
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