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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

Architectures of Hope: Citizenship, Consumption, and the Infrastructures of Class Mobility in Brazil’s Public Housing Policy

Moisés Kopper

In Brazil’s post-neoliberal government of upward mobility and public policies, infrastructures are the symbiosis of experimental forms of government, political action, and practices of consumption. This research project examines the making and remaking of life through material forms in the aftermath of "Minha Casa, Minha Vida," the country’s largest social housing program. Methodologically, it draws from multi-scaled and mixed-methods comparative engagements with low-income residents as they move from peri-urban informal settlements to middle-class environments in the cities of Porto Alegre and São Paulo. Documenting the temporalities of hope unleashed by transient infrastructures in the making, the architectures of participation elicited as people partake in contentious policymaking, and the materialities of consumption that unfold from such public-private interventions, this project’s contribution lies at the intersection of new forms of citizenship and the development of low-income markets. As it considers the long-term effects of public policies on people’s quest for the good life, it problematizes the role of imagination, aspiration, and desire in the study of class mobility. The project is supported by a grant from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Project duration: November 2017 to October 2019.
Kopper, Moisés. 2018: "Infraestruturas porosas: vivendo através do consumo no Programa Minha Casa Minha Vida" [Porous Infrastructures: Living through Consumption in Brazil's Public Housing Program.] Política e Trabalho 48, 57-74.
Kopper, Moisés. 2019: "Porous Infrastructures and the Politics of Upward Mobility in Brazil’s Public Housing." Economic Anthropology 6(1), 73-85. [PDF]
Kopper, Moisés. 2019: "Do Estado ao Empreendedorismo Social: Burocracias cotidianas, risco moral e gestão da vulnerabilidade em uma empresa de regularização fundiária em São Paulo" [From State to Social Entrepreneurship: Everyday Bureaucracies, Moral Risk and Vulnerability in a Land Regularization Startup in São Paulo] (with Isabella Ide). Revista Brasileira de Sociologia 7(15), 30-52. [PDF]
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