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Dimensions of religiosity and social networks in live trajectories of homeless in São Paulo, Brazil

Grant number: 12/02958-4
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2012 - November 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
Principal researcher:Denise Dias Barros
Grantee:Denise Dias Barros
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Debora Galvani


: Based on individual itineraries, this research aims at understanding and shedding light on expressions, dimensions and implications of religion in social networks and the strengthening of homeless adults in São Paulo (Brazil). Central to this research is that the different forms of religious expression contribute to (re)build a sense of belonging and (re)signification of the negative experiences linked to the street (usually reduced to identification with feelings of failure, dependence and the transgression of social norms). In this sense, religion also creates effective, economic networks and symbolic exchanges. The research employs a qualitative ethnographic methodology that entails nine months of fieldwork for which life histories will be collected as well participant observation and open-ended interviews will be utilized to gather the data. In addition, personal documents, artistic or literature productions will be examined for the purpose of this research. Participant observation will be employed in various situations of collaborators' life, their interactions within the networks, and in events where the different forms of religious expression takes place. Furthermore, the activities of "Ponto de Encontro e Cultura" (Project Metuia-USP), as well as in Plenary Falarua and "Ponto de Cultura OCAS" are considered to be significant channels that would inform this research. This research is expected to contribute to ongoing research in this area of investigation, add to ongoing theoretical debates on religion and provide insights into the experience of the homeless while establishing a strong epistemological bases for the field of social occupational therapy. (AU)

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