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  • Confronting chronic shocks: social resilience in Rio de Janeiro's poor neighborhood
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Confronting chronic shocks: social resilience in Rio de Janeiro's poor neighborhood

Source(s):  Elsevier

While much of the literature on social resilience is concerned with how cities overcome “shocks” to the urban system, much less is known about the strategies of survival and adaptation among its poorest residents. The study argues that residents in poor, often informal, neighborhoods are faced with chronic shocks, or constantly recurring disasters, such as floods, severe illness, or violent police invasions. This paper draws on focus groups, participant-observation and a survey (n = 989) based on a participatory action research methodology in Cidade de Deus, one of Rio de Janeiro's poor neighborhoods (or “favelas”). The paper examines how concentrated poverty and violence affect residents' well-being and survival strategies. It finds that residents in these areas address chronic shocks along varying levels of: (1) ‘formality,’ or engagement with the state apparatus or formal economy; (2) contentious politics; and (3) collectivity, from addressing the needs of the individual or kinship network to the neighborhood. It concludes that the variability in strategies reflects residents' ability to adapt to an uneven and unjust urban environment. Poor residents seek the same rights, resources, and privileges of other urban citizens.



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  • Confronting chronic shocks: social resilience in Rio de Janeiro's poor neighborhood
  • Publication date 2020
  • Author(s) Fahlberga, Anjuli; J.Vicino, Thomas; Fernandes, Ricardo et al.
  • Number of pages 10 p.

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