Donna M. Goldstein presents a hard-hitting critique of urban poverty and violence and challenges much of what we think we know about the "culture of poverty" in this compelling read. Drawing on more than a decade of experience in Brazil, Goldstein provides an intimate portrait of everyday life among the women of the favelas, or urban shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro, who cope with unbearable suffering, violence and social abandonment. The book offers a clear-eyed view of socially conditioned misery while focusing on the creative responses - absurdist and black humor - that people generate amid daily conditions of humiliation, anger, and despair. Goldstein helps us to understand that such joking and laughter is part of an emotional aesthetic that defines the sense of frustration and anomie endemic to the political and economic desperation among residents of the shantytown.
Donna M. Goldstein is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
List of Illustrations Foreword Preface to the 2013 Edition Acknowledgments Introduction: Hard Laughter 1. Laughter "Out of Place" 2. The Aesthetics of Domination: Class, Culture, and the Lives of Domestic Workers 3. Color-Blind Erotic Democracies, Black Consciousness Politics, and the Black Cinderellas of Felicidade Eterna 4. No Time for Childhood 5. State Terror, Gangs, and Everyday Violence in Rio de Janeiro 6. Partial Truths, or the Carnivalization of Desire 7. What's So Funny about Rape? Notes Glossary References Index