This project addresses the relations between some contemporary forms of engagement and the increase of spaces suitable for the emergence and dialogue between Brazilian black women, mainly facilitated by the new platforms of social media and social networks. The specific objective of this study is to develop a systematic reflection on how the term empowerment has been employed as a discursive instrument that aggregates a very diverse ensemble of experiences regarding the advent of black women into spaces of power, in bearing in mind the ambivalences and conflicts related to such processes. Thus, this research seeks to understand how the circulation of the term empowerment present in various discourses might become an effective rhetorical instrument for those engaging with a wide range of practices located in a space between the promotion of the black feminism and the legitimation of certain practices of "entrepreneurial spirit". The investigation will draw on a two-stage analysis: firstly, by the historical reconstruction of the category empowerment, based on the available literature on this subject; secondly, by a both online and offline fieldwork aiming to interrogate narratives on empowerment articulated by three networks of women, namely (a) the collaborative online network Blogueiras Negras (Black Bloggers); (b) the network Negras Empoderadas (Empowered Black Women), engaged in the consolidation of a group of debates between "successful" black women; and (c) the project Plano de Menina (Girl Scheme), focused on the promotion of workshops meant for young residents of the Southern periphery of Sao Paulo. Drawing on previous research, it is possible to hypothesise that the extensive use of the category empowerment has played a key role in the mediation and enunciation of claims by an increasingly complex and multifaceted politic subject, whose forms of subjectivity and consciousness are deeply connected to changes in work dynamics afforded by the advances of the "flexible capitalism".
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