Architectures of Hope: Infrastructural Citizenship and Class Mobility in Brazil’s Public Housing

Moisés Kopper

December 01, 2022

MPIfG Book


Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2022
362 pages
ISBN 978-0-472-07564-5 (hardback)
ISBN 978-0-472-05564-7 (paperback)

Also available as an ebook.

» Publisher’s page


Architectures of Hope examines how communal idealism, electoral politics, and low-income consumer markets made first-time homeownership a reality for millions of low-income Brazilians over the last ten years.

Drawing on a five-year-long ethnography among city planners, architects, street-level bureaucrats, politicians, market and bank representatives, community leaders, and past, present, and future beneficiaries, Moisés Kopper tells the story of how a group of grassroots housing activists rose from oblivion to build a model community. He explores the strategies set forth by housing activists as they waited and hoped for – and eventually secured – homeownership through Minha Casa Minha Vida’s public-private infrastructure. By showing how these efforts coalesced in Porto Alegre – Brazil’s once progressive hotspot – he interrogates the value systems and novel arrangements of power and market that underlie the country’s post-neoliberal project of modern and inclusive development.

By chronicling the making and remaking of material hope in the aftermath of Minha Casa Minha Vida, Architectures of Hope reopens the future as a powerful venue for ethnographic inquiry and urban development.


List of Illustrations

Preface and Acknowledgments


Part I: Introduction

The Subjunctivity of Hope

Hoping for the Future


Part II: Infrastructural Citizenship

Chapter 1. The Making of a Model Community

Chapter 2. The Machine of Worthiness

Chapter 3. Waiting and Hoping

Chapter 4. Cartographies of Well-being


Part III: Middle-Class Sensorial

Chapter 5. Topographies of Consumption

Chapter 6. Democracies of Hope

Chapter 7. Infrastructuring Class

Conclusion: Post-neoliberal Hopescapes






Moisés Kopper

Moisés Kopper is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains. From 2017 to 2019, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany.

Other Interesting Articles

Go to Editor View