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Gated communities, heterotopia and the process of subjectivation in Brazil

Grant number: 15/25915-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2016
Effective date (End): July 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Geography - Human Geography
Principal Investigator:Eda Maria Góes
Grantee:Rafael Ignacio Estrada Mejía
Supervisor: Carla Maria Guerron Montero
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Presidente Prudente. Presidente Prudente , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Delaware (UD), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:14/18637-8 - Gated communities and own confinement in Brazilian mid-sized cities: contemporary figures of heterotopia and subjectivation processes, BP.PD


Gated Communities, Heterotopia and theProcess of Subjectivation in BrazilAbstractThrough ethnographic work and the analysis of a corpus of interviews with residents of gated communities, this comparative project aims to examine how the processes of subjectivation of the character of the "securitized" and its correlative, the condominium resident are expressed, organized and realized historically. The project aims to compare gated communities in Brazil and the United States. With this in mind, I center my theoretical and methodological analysis on the expanded Foucaultian concepts of heterotopia and process of subjectivation. Using ethnographic empirical evidence and "existential cartographies," I propose that since the 1970s the ways of life of Brazilian elites fit into a morphing urban model that seduces and multiplies. I suggest that the private sphere, the place for "intimacy" and "invisibility," is transforming as a result of a profound and rooted logic of (self) confinement and fortification, established in an accentuated dualization between the public and the private spheres, "fear," individualism and social distinction. As a result, the frontiers between the public and the private become more porous, while spaces become reified through a process of "Dysneyfication." Living in a gated community implies experimenting a heterotopia of illusion and compensation, in confrontation with life outside its walls. Two aspects are highlighted in these spaces: the eternal thematic vacations from the quotidian, and the abandonment of the habitual. These aspects transform gated communities into paradises, refuges, safe ports and sanctuaries for a few, in contrast with possible urban solutions for many.Key words: condominiums/gated communities, Brazil, elites, heterotopias, subjectivation

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