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A politics of hope: The making of Brazil's post-neoliberal new middle class

Moisés Kopper

No 19/7, MPIfG Discussion Paper from Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

Abstract: How does hope emerge as a life-altering possibility against the backdrop of economic precarity, political disregard, and soaring inequality? This paper explores the role of hope as both a political-economic construct and an infrastructural affect in the wake of policy implementation. It draws on a five-year ethnography among community leaders, housing activists, planners, politicians, state officials, and market representatives involved in the implementation of Minha Casa Minha Vida, Brazil's largest social housing program. In recent years, low-income projects have become the battleground for experimental, post-neoliberal forms of democratic governance via inclusive consumption. These public-private housing infrastructures give insight into the relationship between material hope and the making of Latin America's "pink tide" new middle classes: how grassroots communities organize around hierarchies of worthiness to allocate wellbeing-enhancing state benefits, and how the uneven distribution of these benefits sustains the constitution of emerging, albeit temporary, collectives of consumer citizens.

Keywords: citizenship; infrastructure; material hope; middle class; post-neoliberalism; social housing; bürgerschaftliches Engagement; Infrastruktur; materielle Hoffnung; Mittelschichten; Postneoliberalismus; sozialer Wohnungsbau (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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