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Stories of those who want to flee and those who want to stay: community ties in the changing peripheries of São Paulo

Abstract:

This text analyzes the possible formation of community ties among São Paulo’s peripheries residents. Community ties are understood as significant personal experiences associated with the place of residence. The text is based on a multi-methodological research carried out in two peripheral neighborhoods. The experiences surrounding the spaces of sociability, the representation of urban violence, the dynamics of religiosity and the perspectives of social mobility are mobilized as explanatory elements for the formation or not of these ties for each of the three generations identified. The paper takes an empirical look at the theoretical debate regarding the relations between neighborhood and community and the historical transformations that have taken place in Brazilian urban peripheries in recent decades. It is argued that the construction of normalizing, distinctive or identitarian discourses regarding the territorial stigmatization will depend on local experiences developed in each generational group. The desire to stay or escape from the periphery is read as the ultimate expression of whether or not this type of community relationship exists in the neighborhood.

Keywords:
urban peripheries; sociability; territorial stigmatization; community; social mobility

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