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Constellations of InequalitySpace, Race, and Utopia in Brazil$
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Sean T. Mitchell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226499123

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226499437.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 15 October 2019

Mimetic Convergence and Complementary Hierarchy

Mimetic Convergence and Complementary Hierarchy

Chapter:
(p.23) One Mimetic Convergence and Complementary Hierarchy
Source:
Constellations of Inequality
Author(s):

Sean T. Mitchell

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226499437.003.0002

The book’s first chapter describes the ethnographic situation of conflict in Alcântara and makes five arguments that continue through the rest of the book: (1) the Brazilian federal government’s relations to Alcântara’s conflicts, under Workers’ Party governments (2002-2016), reflected deep divisions within the state; (2) during the period of conflict in Alcântara, villagers have developed new forms of adversarial consciousness and a new awareness of their collective interests; (3) at the local level, this adversarial consciousness has taken sustenance from the decline of poor people’s dependence on patron-client relations with local elites—a decline in complementary hierarchy; (4) the form that this adversarial consciousness has taken results, in part, from a decline in the belief that mimetic convergence can resolve issues of inequality; and (5) this decline in the power of mimetic convergence is perceptible in the changing politics of both local struggles and those of Brazilian development and Brazil’s space program.

Keywords:   Brazil, Inequality, Development, Workers’ Party, Consciousness

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