Para Ingles Ver

by Conor Foley on August 23, 2009

I am reading two great books about Brazil at the moment. Teresa Caldeira’s City of walls: crime segregation and citizenship and Sarah Hautzinger’s Violence in the city of women: police and batterers in Bahia, Brazil.

The latter book tells the story of Brazil’s all-women police stations. Hautzinger spent some time living in a favela to research it and she remembers in her encounters with foreign journalists:

It became clear that they had hoped I would regale them with bloodcurdling brutalizing horrors, confirming their expectations of the exotic barbarity of Latin American men and the overall gravity of gender-based violence in Brazil that could necessitate all-female police stations. . . . This work approaches violence’s significance for gendered power relations as being far more complex than has been commonly recognized and advocates distinguishing between contrasting dynamics of violence as well as how they fit into global, national and regional historical processes. . . . Preventing violence requires more than punishment. . . . . Moreover criminalization-centered responses are inadvertently elitist, benefiting white and middle class women at the expense of poor and working class women and women of color who are more reluctant to involve police because of perceived bias.

Caldeira’s book is more difficult to summarize, but is basically about the impact that the rise in violent crime has had on Brazilian society as a whole. The following quote gives some idea of her approach:

The talk of crime promotes a symbolic reorganization of a world disrupted both by the increase in crime and by a series of processes that have profoundly affected Brazilian society in the last few decades. These processes include political democratization and persistent high inflation, economic recession, and the exhaustion of a model of development based on nationalism, import substitution, protectionism and state-sponsored economic development. Crime offers the imagery with which to express feelings of loss and social decay generated by these other processes and to legitimate the reaction adopted by many residents: private security to ensure isolation, enclosure and distancing from those considered dangerous
[click to continue…]

Sunday picture

by Eszter Hargittai on August 23, 2009

Old postcards

My paternal grandmother, who was born in 1908 and died in 1988, used to have this collection of three postcards (?) up on her wall. I recently saw it at my parents’ place and requested that I take it with me so I could put it up in my home. It reminds me of my grandmother whom I loved dearly (and whom, as you can probably tell from the above dates, I knew for all too brief a part of my life). On the back, my grandmother wrote: Graz 1926-27. There is also some hard-to-read handwriting on the front that you can see on the image. Only recently did I stop to look at the pictures individually. For me, their entire meaning comes from my memories associated with them as a whole.

Various Visuals

by John Holbo on August 23, 2009

I like this Flickr set of album covers reimagined as Pelican paperbacks:


Also, I have an invented a test. First, view this image. Now check under the fold for the answer. [click to continue…]

Here’s something I didn’t post about last week because CT was so intermittent that I just didn’t get around to it. Megan McArdle responded to my critiques of her. Well, responded might be too strong. Reacted. She spends so much time speculating deeply about my apparently quite shallow motives that she doesn’t really get around to considering my argument. [click to continue…]