Spanish and Portuguese ETDs

Publication Date



This thesis is made up primarily of auto-ethnographic studies. It is a collection of information about life in the favela (shanty town) as described by residents of the favelas with personal experience and by the author who is himself a resident of a favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With a basis in facts, this study follows the appearance, development, decay, and redemption of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil. This work is based on the perspectives of literary production, cinema, culture and social projects, and personal testimonies of real events in the daily life of residents of the favela communities. It documents the conditions in the favelas that have been abandoned by the government authorities and therefore experience drug trafficking, battles between drug lords and the police, and the constant presence of violence. This study narrates how individuals are subjected to deplorable living conditions that have culminated in extreme interventions by the state. The works of Quarto de despejo (1960), Casa de alvenaria (1961) and O diário de Bitita (1982), by Carolina Maria de Jesus and the novels Manual prático do ódio (2003) and Capão pecado (2005), by Ferrez, as well as projects led by community members, demonstrate the transitions through which the old favela is being rescued and repaired. In addition to these projects, efforts by the government are contributing to the restructuring of the marginalized communities so that the occupants are gaining a voice, civil rights, and equality. These newly found markers of citizenship present a stark contrast to the views held by those who previously scorned the favelas. Thus, at the beginning of the 21st century, the new favela counters the theories of Vidas despedaçadas (2005), by Zigmunt Bauman that could be said to exemplify a good part of the favela studied in this thesis, but that in no way resemble the emerging favela of the new millennium.

Degree Name

Portuguese (MA)

Level of Degree


Department Name

Spanish and Portuguese

First Committee Member (Chair)

Milleret, Margo

Second Committee Member

Santiago-Diaz, Eleuterio

Third Committee Member

Lehnen, Jeremy




Favela, Pacificano, UPPs, Narcotrafico, Cidadania, Brasil, Literatura, Auto-etnografia

Document Type