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Insurgent Citizenship


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tables xi Preface xiii PART ONE: DISRUPTIONS Chapter 1: Citizenship Made Strange 3 Public Standing and Everyday Citizenship 15 Particular Citizenships 18 Treating the Unequal Unequally 25 History as an Argument about the Present 33 PART TWO: INEQUALITIES Chapter 2: In/Divisible Nations 39 Comparative Formulations 41 French Indivisibility 44 American Restriction 52 Brazilian Inclusion 62 Chapter 3: Limiting Political Citizenship 82 The Surprisingly Broad Colonial Franchise 83 Restrictions with Independence 88 A Long Step Backward into Oligarchy 100 Urbanization and the Equalization of Rights 104 Chapter 4: Restricting Access to Landed Property 112 Property, Personality, and Civil Standing 113 Land, Labor, and Law 116 The Tangle of Colonial Land Tenure 118 National Land Reform, Slavery, and Immigrant Free Labor 123 The Land Law of 1850 131 Land Law and Market Become Accomplices of Fraud 136 Illegality, Inequality, and Instability as Norms 142 Chapter 5: Segregating the City 146 Center and Periphery 147 Evicting Workers and Managing Society 157 Autoconstructing the Peripheries 165 Social Rights for Urban Labor 186 A Differentiated Citizenship 197 PART THREE: INSURGENCIES Chapter 6: Legalizing the Illegal 203 The Illegal Periphery 206 A Case of Land Fraud in Jardim das Camelias 213 Histories of Dubious Origins 219 Federal Ownership Claims: Sesmarias and Indians 220 Ackel Ownership Claims: Posse and Squatter's Rights 223 The Ownership Claims of Adis and the State of Sao Paulo 224 The Misrule of Law 227 Chapter 7: Urban Citizens 233 New Civic Participation 235 The Mobilization of Lar Nacional 241 Reinventing the Public Sphere 247 New Foundations of Rights 253 Rights as Privilege 254 Contributor Rights 260 Text-Based Rights 264 PART FOUR: DISJUNCTIONS Chapter 8: Dangerous Spaces of Citizenship 271 Everyday Incivilities 275 In/Justice 284 Gang Talk and Rights Talk 300 Insurgent Citizenships and Disjunctive Democracies 309 Notes 315 Bibliography 361 Index 375

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Through a masterful blending of history and ethnography, James Holston offers his readers an innovative and compelling way to think about citizenship in Brazil and elsewhere. Insurgent Citizenship shows how, historically, the category of 'citizen' in Brazilian society has been subject to differential rights and subtle gradations that have forced many people who enjoy formal citizenship to resort to illegal arrangements to survive. Perhaps most important, Holston analyzes the struggles of insurgent movements in Brazil's urban 'peripheries' not only to claim inclusion but to reshape the very meaning of citizenship. -- Barbara Weinstein, New York University James Holston has written a landmark book. In this multilayered study, Holston has written an explosive history of modern citizenship. The implications of his work provide fresh insights in Brazilian democracy and its limitations--and suggest ways in which, in fact, Brazil may not be so unique in a world of legalized privileges and legitimated inequalities. A monumental achievement of engaged scholarship. -- Jeremy Adelman, author of "Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic" This is a major book, and should provoke significant debate among Brazilianists and beyond. Holston offers a thoroughly researched, acutely argued, and well-written account of the emergence of a new understanding of citizenship in Brazil. He grounds his account of 'insurgent citizenship' in the study of neighborhood activism in two working-class neighborhoods on the periphery of Sao Paulo, Jardim das Camelias and Lar Nacional. His analysis of the former, in particular, is stunning. -- Bryan McCann, Georgetown University This magnificent, richly detailed study of the emergence of an idea of the citizen as a rights-bearing subject, out of the morass of legal and social inequalities that have characterized Brazilian society since its inception, offers a provocative view of what democracy and rights mean for diminishing such inequalities. The developments in Brazil are similar to those taking place elsewhere in Latin America, and this book shows us in vivid detail why they are happening and what their implications might be. -- Sally Engle Merry, New York University One of the best books I've ever read on Brazil or on citizenship. -- Margaret Keck, Johns Hopkins University

About the Author

James Holston is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of "The Modernist City" and the editor of "Cities and Citizenship".


Winner of the 2009 Best Book on Brazil in English, Brazil Section of the Latin American Studies Association Co-Winner of the 2010 BRASA Roberto Reis Book Prize by the Brazilian Studies Association Winner of the 2009 Leeds Honor Book, Society for Urban, National, and Transnational/Global Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association "Holston's topic in this impressive study on unequal citizenship is the contrast between Brazil's formal, legal equality and the reality that it is a society founded on civic and juridical inequalities."--J.M. Rosenthal, Choice "Insurgent Citizenship will provoke vigorous debate. But Holston has set the terms for such debate with force and intelligence, and his book will surely be an enduring touchstone for scholars of law, social movements, and urban development."--Brodwyn Fischer, American Anthropologist

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