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Racial segregation in São Paulo: residences, personal networks and urban trajectories in the 21st century

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Author(s):
Danilo Sales do Nascimento França
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Marcia Regina de Lima Silva; Ana Claudia Castilho Barone; Antonio Sergio Alfredo Guimaraes; Eduardo Cesar Leão Marques; Edward Eric Telles
Advisor: Marcia Regina de Lima Silva
Abstract

This thesis proposes an interpretation on the relevance of residential segregation as a structuring dimension of race relations in Brazil, based on the data from the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo. Comparisons with cases of racial segregation typical of North American cities, coupled with narratives that disguise manifestations of racism in Brazil, have fueled discourses that despise the importance of segregation for race relations, arguing that in our cities segregation occurs only by social class. This research opposes such discourses and presents evidence of residential segregation by race in the different social strata. On the one hand, through more traditional quantitative approaches based on the differentials of location of residences, we find small levels of racial segregation in lower social strata that become significant in the middle and upper classes. The white middle and upper classes reside in the most privileged areas of the metropolis, being very isolated and distant from all other groups, even from middle and upper-class blacks. This is, therefore, residential segregation by race and class. On the other hand, from a critique of the ways in which the very notion of residential segregation has been mobilized by sociology, we propose a more in-depth approach that reveals the extent to which the separation of housing is associated with differentials of social integration and access to the city. Therefore, we undertook an empirical strategy based on mapping of paths and places frequented by individuals in the city space and on the spatial distribution of their personal networks of relationships. The information was collected through qualitative research in which we interviewed 28 middle class individuals blacks and whites, women and men in three different areas of the city of São Paulo: São Miguel Paulista, Tatuapé and Itaim Bibi. We demonstrate the importance of place of residence to the extent that most of the personal relationships and the places attended are located around the district in which the respondents reside. That is, to the extent that blacks and whites are residentially segregated, their personal networks and urban paths are also segregated. In addition, our results indicate that whites, regardless of their place of residence, have personal networks that are predominantly composed of other whites and frequent more the elite areas of the metropolis. Our findings highlight the role of urban space in social closure processes that reinforce barriers to the integration of blacks in the middle classes. Furthermore, we argue that the middle classes are organized as status groups whose boundaries are strongly based not only on racial characteristics, but also in urban space (inhabited and frequented). (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/23930-3 - Residential Segregation and Race Relations: Indicators, representations and urban trajectories in the metropolitan region of São Paulo.
Grantee:Danilo Sales Do Nascimento França
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate