resources2018-12-20T15:09:41+01:00

Autonomy is not to be confused with stubbornness! Age discrimination in COVID-19 times

In times of a pandemic, I am concerned that discriminatory positions are gaining strength. And I think the anti-discrimination/anti-racist struggle needs to take action! After all, racist discrimination manifests itself through many formulas and brings with it subterfuges that impose on others a History that denies political and social rights and maintains the hierarchies sown with the African Diaspora. One is mistaken whether thinks that discrimination and racism only manifest themselves against black people when it is something insidious and corrodes social structures from inside as if it were a drill that penetrates the wood to make it hollow, fragile. Racist discrimination is associated with other social markers of difference that are used not to show the beauty of the plurality of being diverse, but to point out differences as inequalities.

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Beautiful Deaths, Good Deaths, Evil Deaths, and Covid-19

On one of my last visits to the apartment of my doctoral supervisor, the Africanist anthropologist Louis-Vincent Thomas, in the elegant Parisian neighborhood of Saint Mandé, I was stunned by the personal mode of handling death, by he who was a specialist in the theme. His apartment was lined with photographs of his wife, who had recently passed away. Literally lined, beginning from the hallway entered when stepping off of the elevator, where large banners reproduced photos from different epochs, many of them with her face, photos of augmented identity. “It’s impressive the number of photos that a person takes during their life”, he commented upon seeing my eyes fixed on them. “Just look in the drawers, and there they are”.

Vol. 1 Num. 1|

Black women and the coronavirus pandemic

On March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO) decreed the new coronavirus pandemic. Eleven days later, the first victim of Covid-19 died in Brazil: she was a black 63 years old woman, a domestic worker, hypertensive, diabetic. She used to work at Leblon and live in Miguel Pereira, in Rio de Janeiro. Marcelo Crivella, the mayor (Republicans), decreed the quarantine for the entire carioca population on the same day, and it would begin on the following Tuesday, March 24th. At that time, there was information that the Brazilian reported contagion cases were still "imported," and travelers should quarantine. Still, Cleonice Gonçalves was cooking at her employer's house. The employer returned from Italy, bringing in the luggage much more than pleasant trip memories. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. The situation repeats in several news reports, to the point that many believe that the Covid-19 was just a "disease of rich people, who traveled abroad."

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BRaS promotes Brazilian social sciences during the Covid-19 pandemic

The Brazilian Research Studies Center, in an effort to publicize the work done by researchers and research institutes, published in its blog some translations related to the coronavirus crisis. The texts were originally organized by the National Association of Postgraduate Studies in Social Sciences (ANPOCS), the Brazilian Society of Sociology (SBS), the Brazilian Association of Anthropology (ABA),  the Brazilian Association of Political Science (ABCP) and the Association of Social Scientists of the Mercosur Religion (ACSRM).

To give international visibility to this initiative, we agreed to translate selected texts […]

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Capitalism’s Blind Microbiology

In the prior times of capitalism, technology optimism and pollution naturalization expressed the elites' tolerance for the undesirable industrial effects: to ensure business continuity, technology was supposed to solve the problems created by technology, argued some experts. Meanwhile, environmental problems affected the poor around the factories. Today, the naturalization of the epidemic and technological optimism in the health's management crisis are the words of authoritarian neoliberalism and social-Darwinism. They express what the anthropologist Eric Fassin called "xenophobia at any expense” in Europe. In its Brazilian version, "racism at any expense", and suggests the priority of business over the health of the most unprotected, mostly black and poor.

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COVID-19 in Brazilian prisons: criminal selectivity and production of disposable bodies

The impact of the pandemic on the Brazilian prison system is vast and reveals the lack of homogeneity in the system, considering the way it deals with the management of prison units. We bring attention to the unconstitutionality of how state secretariats and the federal government deal with the management of the lives of people deprived of freedom, mostly poor and black. The scarcity of information about people affected by the virus, both those deprived of liberty and public employees responsible for their care, and the carelessness on treating the relatives of prisoners reflect the lack of ethics aimed at valuing people. Most families cannot obtain information about the state of health of their relatives or whether they have been affected by the virus-related illness. I published an article1 on the prison situation in Brazil today on the UFRJ News Portal. We have the third-largest prison population in the world2 in unhealthy conditions, overcrowding, inadequate water supply, precarious diet, shortage of health personnel, and presence of diseases, such as tuberculosis, measles, syphilis, HIV, meningitis, potentiate the contamination by COVID-19, which assumes characteristics of a massacre.

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COVID-19: A new old acquaintance of the Brazilian indigenous people

It seems strange to say that a disease that is just beginning to be discovered is a long-standing family member of some populations that live on this planet. However, this is the case concerning the experience that is beginning to be lived by Brazilian indigenous peoples with COVID-19. This is the case because viruses and bacteria have been allied for centuries with the greed of economic exploitation, acting together with this in the death of indigenous populations. Whooping cough, smallpox, chickenpox, measles, malaria, bubonic plague, typhus, diphtheria, conjunctivitis, and flu are diseases whose pathological agents exterminated or substantially reduced people who had no immune barrier to the ills brought with the supposed civilization. Microorganisms change, but the massacres remain.

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COVID-19: pandemic scales and anthropology scales

Outbreak, epidemic, and pandemic are terms of the technical universe of epidemiology for the temporal, geographical, and quantitative classification of an infectious disease. They are fundamental to management and control processes, defining levels of attention, and action protocols. In the case of Covid-19, for example, when a large number of people in the city of Wuhan, China, started to have a serious and unknown respiratory infection in a short time, the alarm for the beginning of an outbreak went off. The presence of a new variety of the Corona-type virus was quickly identified and, in a short time, similar cases also appeared in other cities and regions of the country and abroad. It was the beginning of the epidemic. Still, as the numbers of the disease continued to rise in more countries and continents, covering almost the entire globe, WHO decreed what is considered the worst-case scenario, the pandemic.

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Deterritorialization without limits – Geographic reflections in times of pandemic (I)

Some mantras of planetary globalism dominant until now were: move, travel, accelerate, grow, expand, extract (resources), consume, privatize, do flexible (labor relations), delocaçize (companies)… All of this, in face of the Coronavirus pandemic, was suddenly reversed: stop, do not travel, slow down, withdraw, do not consume, invest in public policies, nationalize (companies in crisis)... Here, amid a neoliberal boom, like a plague, the last mantra to be contested has not yet been reversed: for workers, further flexibilization of labor relations continues to be proposed, as if they were testing how far the resignation of this mass of extremely vulnerable (un)employees goes. It is as if, while the rich people can stop and protect themselves, the poor must continue to move, taking risks to ensure our survival.

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Digital inequalities and education: brief pandemic concerns

If there is an almost immediate finding to be made – although little care is taken when it comes to the situation – it is that the COVID-19 pandemic has considerable consequences for all spheres of social life. In this sense, our proposal is, from the sum of our research experiences on technology and education, to draw lines of analysis that help to understand some of the developments of the processes of virtualization of education in basic and higher education. We start from a perspective that does not demonize or believe in catastrophic visions concerning technology, but that proposes to think about its many uses and the many contexts in which it is inserted, to better understand the challenges that these uses contain.

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Disability, Coronavirus and Life-and-Death Policies

The coronavirus pandemic, among explicit policies and ordinary practices, exposes life-and-death decisions that require thoughts about possible outcomes. The effects of the pandemic do not only involve the relationship between a virus and bodies but rather are produced politically, based on unequal conditions and situations of life and practices, programs, and policies for its consideration.

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Funerals during the COVID-19 pandemic

On March 25th, 2020, the Ministry of Health published a handbook that defines guidelines on the "Dead body management in the context of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)". This handbook provides technical recommendations to avoid contamination of both health professionals, who handle these bodies directly, and relatives during burials. Nonetheless, what do these guidelines mean regarding funerals on the relatives' perspective? What are the impacts of coronavirus on death rituals?

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German National Library grants ISSN to BraS blog publications.

The academic committee of Brazilian Research and Studies received this week the excellent news that the ISSN of its blog was approved by the German National Library. The International Standard Serial Number makes it possible for the blog’s serial publications to be easily identified by library systems in several places. The ISSN is valid worldwide and serves as a unique identifier for works in different databases.

Information about the BraS ISSN is listed below:

 

BRaS Blog ISSN 2701-4924

 

The bibliographic information on the publication […]

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Global Fear

The coronavirus pandemic certainly opens a new class of global fear. It is not like that anxieties, panics and global worries did not exist previously. However, as globalization is a historical process that has become increasingly sharp, it is expected that the last global fear will be more intense and complex than the others. What am I calling global fear? Here is a work definition: it is all tantalizing fear felt for all the inhabitants of a collective, with an expectation of an enormous amount of deaths, which potentially or in fact will reach everyone, and will bring an end to the world, known until a certain period of time. I leave the definition in a broad way to include some collective fears – obviously without any pretension of exhausting the examples – which, although are not planetary, will certainly include the feeling of the end of the world in a sort of archaeology of this terrible sensation, one real total social fact, as Marcel Mauss would say, that entails physiological, biological, psychological, cultural, political, economic, social and scientific responses.

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In Between Fields of Research: Where Does Cultural Studies Stand?

When I was invited to write about the field of research I am working in, I was overwhelmed by the fact that I have my doubts on how to describe it. I had never heard about Cultural Studies before. It was only when I was accepted at the Ph.D. program on Heritages of Portuguese Influence at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, that those words started to make sense.

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Lives, economy, and emergency

In recent years in Social Sciences, particularly in anthropology, an ethnographic critique of the concept of life has been gaining strength, discussing its self-evident character and questioning the binarisms that oppose biological and biographical lives, natural lives and social lives, universes of life and death, of human and non-human lives, and which also focuses on the links between human lives and the lives of other species - links that are so important to shed light on the socio-biological dynamics of the pandemic that currently sweeps the planet. Similarly, relevant to understanding our present are the relationships between life and the economy, which until the current crisis seemed to have remained outside the radar of our disciplines. In this brief essay, I propose a view of these relations (between life and economy) on the ones I have been working on for some time, never imagining that they would have the dramatic relevance that they have gained in the last few months, turning into strategic questions to outline the present and the future of our collective existence.

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Majority influence in proportional elections: the case of Brazilian mayors and city councilors

Brazil has the most fragmented party system in the world. In 2018, 30 parties obtained at least one seat in the Lower House, with the effective number of parties being 16.4. This value is pointed out by several analysts as one of the obstacles to governance, given that the presidential party usually does not win a majority in the Legislature and must resort to multiparty coalitions to govern and to remain in office. The diagnosis of the fragmentation of the party system was accompanied by several attempts at treatment.

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Rural workers in times of pandemic

A careful reading of the news published by the various media points to the absence of references about rural workers. In a country, considered the largest producer of commodities in the world, this may cause some strangeness at first. In fact, rural workers are overshadowed, denied by the wider society. I intend to contribute so that this fog that covers them is removed so that people can see them as essential in this moment of the pandemic that is plaguing us.

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Science and knowledge as threats

Since Bolsonaro assumed the Presidency of the Republic, education, science, and culture have suffered a major breakdown. The collection of inept, cartoonish, and even clearly fascist ministers is concrete proof of the contempt with which these areas have been viewed by the government.

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Self-regulation on a local credit union

Cooperation is a collective action between two or more people, for a common purpose. Records in cooperation exist throughout the history of humankind, and various forms of cooperation between humans have been noticed since antiquity. The action is as old as human relations. Every day individuals have helped each other to overcome obstacles or to defend themselves from the weather, diseases, hunger, misery, etc. This concept is also related to modern times and is used in organizations that are called cooperatives.

Vol. 1 Num. 2|

Social production in times of pandemic

If it is not new that, in the news, science, economics and politics editorials get mixed up - when discussing the exploration of oil fields or the release of transgenic seeds, for example - during a pandemic the way our life in society depends and is intertwined to non-human elements becomes even clearer. However, how has social theory understood the role of such a powerful agent, like COVID-19, in the production and alteration of our modern forms of societies? And what is its contribution to thinking and acting in the contemporary world?

Vol. 1 Num. 1|

Temples in times of pandemics

In Matthew 18:20, Jesus said, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them”. But what to do when a virus (agnostic and uninvited) threatens to infect the group of faithful and to make them sick and, in some cases, to lead them to death?

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The 2020 Brazilian municipal elections as a test for Bolsonaro’s increasing popularity

The first round of the upcoming municipal elections in Brazil will take place on 15th November of this year, with over a one-month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic[1]. Both the public and scholars will need to wait a little bit to unfold the many expectations that come with these elections. Of course, each election entails some degree of expectation, especially in a country such as Brazil, where there is a high party fragmentation and an unstable party system, and thus a high degree of uncertainty about who the winners will be. However, two contextual facts make these elections more interesting to both the public’s and scholars’ eyes.

Vol. 1 Num. 2|

The city governments facing the Coronavirus

Since the confirmation of the first case of Covid-19 in Brazil, on February 26th, state and municipal governments have used their large prerogatives to control contamination and minimize the impacts of the pandemic. The president’s position opened up space for sub-national governments to rise to the position of protagonists in the crisis. After two months, the questions are: what are the main measures adopted by the municipalities; what is the speed and stability of the response of the local government officials; what relationship predominated between mayors, governors, and the president?

Vol. 1 Num. 1|

The COVID-19 pandemic and women

Despite the many changes that have occurred, we all know how to point out and understand the established gender roles, where women would be the "caregivers," "housewives," mainly responsible for homes and families.

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The deadly impact of covid-19 on the Brazilian economy and demography

The COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Brazil with some delay, but with disproportionate force, due to the inability of the public power to come up with an effective response to contain the spread of the coronavirus. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, on March 1st the world reached 88,600 infected people and 3,000 deaths, while Brazil had only 2 cases and the first death occurred on March 17th. On April 2nd, the world reached 1 million cases, and 53 thousand deaths and Brazil reached 7.9 thousand cases (0.8% of the global total) and 299 deaths (0.6% of the total). On April 15th, the world reached 2 million cases and 135 thousand deaths and Brazil presented 28.3 thousand cases (1.4% of the global total) and 1.7 thousand deaths (1.3% of the total). Eleven days later, on April 26th, the world reached 3 million cases and 207 thousand deaths, while Brazil reached 61.9 thousand cases (2.1% of the global total) and 4.2 thousand deaths (2% of the total).

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The PT’s Ideational Origins: Avenues for Research

The emergence of the Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT) from the suburbs of São Paulo, its institutionalization, and its later rise to the presidential office in 2002 not only turned traditional Brazilian politics on its head, but it also spurred a flood of research on the phenomenon, commonly referred to as PTlogia in Brazil. An annotated bibliography on the PT from 2013 covers more than 400 pages (Metidieri Menegozzo 2013) and the flow of publications on the party has since continued.

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The Social Sciences and Collective Health in the face of the current epidemic of ignorance, irresponsibility, and bad faith

One of the oldest and most traditional social sciences fields is the analysis of health and disease processes and the relationship between biological and social. The concern in this Social Anthropology field is so expressive worldwide, especially in the United States, that a subfield dedicated to it has been developed: Medical Anthropology. In Brazil, this subfield is called Body and Health Anthropology, and the National Association of Post Graduate Studies in Social Sciences (ANPOCS) annually promotes working groups, forums, and roundtables for its development. In recent years, three specific national meetings have been held, entitled Meetings of Health Anthropology (RAS).

Vol. 1 Num. 1|

The vertical citizenship in Brazil: the case of Coronavirus

Partial isolation, or vertical isolation as it has been called, consists essentially in only removing from social relations the groups that are most susceptible to mortality by COVID-19, such as people over 60 years old, or diagnosed with diseases as hypertension and diabetes. Bolsonaro, Brazil's current president, defends this measure, based on the bolsonarist discourse, taking the mass "return to work" as justification. This argument precisely inflated the small (fortunately) motorcades in favor of the "return to work" on March 29th, 2020. However, in constant meetings and pronouncements on the Planalto, the federal authorities admit that there is no study to justify such a direction, which is often contrary to the guidelines of the Minister of Health himself and the World Health Organization[1]. On March 31st, 2020, the president distorted once again the statement of the General Director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, to question the quarantine and state that he is right about how to conduct the crisis.

Vol. 1 Num. 1|

To be born and to give birth in times of COVID-19: an announced tragedy?

On 5 April 2020, the risk group guidelines for COVID-19 underwent the first change in Brazil. Among the people at greatest risk of contagion would also be high risk pregnant and puerperal women: pregnant women with diabetes, hypertension, and chronic diseases - because of their commodities – and women who have recently given birth. At the end of the same week, the Ministry of Health (Brazil) changed again the guidelines and included all pregnant women as a risk group, as well as women who had an abortion recently.

Vol. 1 Num. 1|

Welcome to BraS-Blog, volume 1 number 2

I remember clearly as a child watching Tintin at night before going to bed. It was my favorite time of the day. Tintin was the kind of character I could rely on not only for a good story but also to help me shape (part of) the worldview and aspirations I have today. As much as I could have been brought up to hate communism, I think I leaned into the other values promoted by the character. Fast forward to 2009, my first exam at university, we were given a Tintin cartoon to criticize for an Anthropology course.

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What to expect from science while we wait for tomorrow

There is never a good time to be stuck with a denialist but perhaps there is no worse time than at the emergence of a pandemic caused by an agent with high infection power. Or maybe we have only made the transition from epidemic to pandemic because of the obstinacy of the deniers.

Vol. 1 Num. 1|
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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.
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