The purpose of this paper is to indicate how place making and belonging are still largely governed by race in Brazil and South Africa. As such, it engages with debates about the postracial informed by the study of two urban settings that are discernible by their relationship with race issues: Rio de Janeiro’s favelas and Johannesburg’s townships.
The study provides a brief account of post-racial discourses in each country: Brazilian racial democracy and South Africa’s self-imagination as rainbow nation. Subsequently, these two major national self-understandings are probed using data gathered in the fieldwork (participant observation and in-depth interviews) carried out in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas and Johannesburg’s townships between 2013 and 2015.
The main accomplishment of the study is to approach debates about senses of place, understood here as place making and belonging, from the everyday experiences of favela and township inhabitants. The study suggests discrepancies between the racialized senses of place in Brazilian and South African urban milieus and any sort of post-racial rhetoric. Despite the existence of norms and institutions promoting equal rights of citizenship in Brazil and South Africa, place making is still largely encumbered by the legacy of racial domination in both countries.
By adding new evidence to the research on everyday racism, the study explores the mutual influences between senses of place and the persistent patterns of racial segregation in two urban contexts of the global South. Beyond this, it offers a comparative approach that connects micro-level social dynamics and macro-level discourses.
Rocha Franco, S.H. (2019), "Favelas and townships: place making, everyday racialization, and the postracial", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 39 No. 11/12, pp. 962-974. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-04-2019-0087Download as .RIS
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