Marginality: From Myth to Reality

Janice Perlman

February 23, 2011

Event Description

What has changed in Rio’s favelas from 1969 to 2009? Janice Perlman will address this question, using findings from both her original study of the favelas and recent follow-up interviews of the survivors along with their children and grandchildren. She will address the way the concept of marginality and its policy implications have been transformed since the end of the dictatorship; the inclusion of the urban poor in the consumer society juxtaposed with their exclusion from full democratic rights; the stigma of favela living as a barrier to work despite educational gains; and the effect of drug-related violence on life in the favelas. The current policy of Pacifying Police Units, undertaken to prepare for the World Cup and Olympic Games, is the topic of her current research.


Janice Perlman is a research scholar, consultant and nonprofit leader. Her most recent book, FAVELA: Four Decades of Living on the Edge in Rio de Janeiro (Oxford University Press, 2010), is a multi-generational follow-up of her first book The Myth of Marginality (UC Press, 1976). Prior to founding the Mega-Cities Project, Perlman was a tenured professor in UC Berkeley’s Department of City and Regional Planning.