Skip to main content

Justification in Protest Publics: The Homeless Workers’ Movement in Brazil’s Crisis

  • 323 Accesses

Part of the Societies and Political Orders in Transition book series (SOCPOT)

Abstract

In the late 2000s, a number of analysts were optimistic about Brazil’s future. Their expectant analyses did not bear out, however, as a political and economic crisis developed just as Brazil was gearing up to host two mega-events, the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. This paper has two aims. The first is to deepen our understanding of the crisis through examining one of the foremost social actors to emerge in this period: the Landless Workers’ Movement (Movimento de Trabalhadores Sem-Teto, MTST). The second is to use this case to consider the potential for the sociology of critical capacity—a field of theory that emerged out of the Political and Moral Sociology Research Group in Paris in the 1980s—to contribute to theorising the ‘justification work’ of movements and protest publics.

Keywords

  • Crisis in Brazil
  • Pragmatic sociology
  • Protest publics
  • Homeless Workers’ Movement

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-05475-5_7
  • Chapter length: 16 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-05475-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

References

  • Abreu, M. d. A. (2014). A apropriação do território no Brasil colonial [The appropriation of territory in colonial Brazil]. In F. Fridman & R. Haesbaert (Eds.), Escritos sobre Espaço e História (pp. 265–298). Rio de Janeiro: Garamond.

    Google Scholar 

  • Alexander, J. C. (1996). Collective action, culture and civil society: Secularizing, updating, inverting, revising and displacing the classical model of social movements. In J. Clark & M. Diani (Eds.), Alain Touraine (pp. 205–234). London: Falmer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arretche, M. (Ed.). (2015). Trajetórias das Desigualdades: como Brasil mudou nos últimos 50 anos [Trajectories of inequality: How Brazil changed over the past 50 years]. São Paulo: Editora UNESP.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blokker, P. (2011). Pragmatic sociology: Theoretical evolvement and empirical application. European Journal of Social Theory, 14(3), 251–261.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Blokker, P. (2014). Luc Boltanski and democratic theory: Fragility, auto-nomos, and critique as democracy’s end. Thesis Eleven, 124(1), 53–70.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Blokker, P., & Brighenti, A. (2011). Politics between justification and defiance. European Journal of Social Theory, 14(3), 283–300.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Boltanski, L. (2011). On critique: A sociology of emancipation. Cambridge: Polity.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boltanski, L. (2013). A journey through French-style critique. In P. du Gay & G. Morgan (Eds.), New spirits of capitalism?: Crises, justifications, and dynamics (pp. 1–24). Oxford: Oxford Scholarship Online.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boltanski, L., & Chiapello, E. (2005). The new spirit of capitalism. London: Verso.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Boltanski, L., & Thévenot, L. (1999). The sociology of critical capacity. European Journal of Social Theory, 2(3), 359–377.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Boltanski, L., & Thévenot, L. (2006). On justification: Economies of worth. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boulos, G. (2014). Por que ocupamos? Uma introdução à luta dos sem-teto [Why we occupy? An introduction to the homeless struggle]. São Paulo: Scortecci.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boulos, G. (2015). De que lado você está?: reflexões sobre a conjuntura política e urbana no Brasil [What side are you on? Reflections on the political and urban conjuncture in Brazil]. São Paulo: Boitempo.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bruff, I., Ebenau, M., & May, C. (Eds.). (2015). New directions in comparative capitalisms research: Critical and global perspectives. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chiapello, E. (2013). Capitalism and its criticisms. In P. du Gay & G. Morgan (Eds.), New spirits of capitalism?: Crises, justifications, and dynamics (pp. 61–81). Oxford: Oxford Scholarship Online.

    Google Scholar 

  • Clément, K. (2015). Unlikely mobilisations: How ordinary Russian people become involved in collective action. European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 2(3–4), 211–240.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dias, E. C. (2015). Profits and votes: Entrepreneurs and the government in Brazilian housing policy. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, 35(4), 763–779.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Eakin, M. (2013). The emergence of Brazil on the world stage. Latin American Research Review, 48(3), 221–230.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Fernandes, A. C., & Novy, A. (2010). Reflections on the unique response of Brazil to the financial crisis and its urban impact. Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 34(4), 952–966.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Fraser, N. (1990). Rethinking the public sphere: A contribution to the critique of actually existing democracy. Social Text, 25/26, 56–80.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Green, S. (2004). A rhetorical theory of diffusion. Academy of Management Review, 29(4), 653–669.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hirata, F. (2009). “Minha Casa, Minha Vida”: Política habitacional e de geração de emprego ou aprofundamento da segregação urbana? [“My House My Life”: Housing policy and employment generation or deepening urban segregation?]. Revista Aurora, 2(2), pp. 1–11.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hirata, F., & Oliveira, N. C. (2012). Os movimentos dos sem-teto de São Paulo no contexto neoliberal [Homeless movements in São Paulo in the neoliberal context]. In A. Boito & A. Galvão (Eds.), Política e Classes Sociais no Brasil dos anos 2000 (pp. 369–402). São Paulo: Alameda Editorial.

    Google Scholar 

  • Holston, J. (1991). The misrule of law: Land and usurpation in Brazil. Comparative Studies of Society and History, 33(4), 695–725.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Holston, J. (2008). Insurgent citizenship: Disjunctions of democracy and modernity in Brazil. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jagd, S. (2011). Pragmatic sociology and competing orders of worth in organizations. European Journal of Social Theory, 14(3), 343–359.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Jasper, J. M. (1997). The art of moral protest: Culture, biography and creativity in social movements. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Jasper, J. M. (2007). Cultural approaches to the study of social movements. In B. Klandermans & C. Roggeband (Eds.), Handbook of social movements across disciplines (pp. 59–109). New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Klandermans, B. (2005). Politicised collective identity: Collective identity and political protest. Social Identification in Groups, 22, 155–176.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Magnani, G. C. (2015). A Copa do Povo e o Vale do Lírio: duas experiências sob o olhar etnográfico “de perto e de dentro” [The cup of the people and the Lily valley: Two experiences with the ethnographic gaze “from up close and within”]. Áltera, 1(1), 112–143.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mahony, N., & Clarke, J. (2013). Public crises, public futures. Cultural Studies, 27(4), 933–954.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Marques, E., & Rodrigues, L. (2015). A produção pública de habitação [The public production of housing]. In E. Marques (Ed.), A metrópole de São Paulo no século XXI: espaços, heterogeneidades e desigualdades (pp. 337–366). São Paulo: Editora UNESP.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nash, K. (2014). The promise of pragmatic sociology, human rights, and the state. In S. Sussen & B. S. Turner (Eds.), The spirit of Luc Boltanski: Essays on the ‘pragmatic sociology of critique’ (pp. 351–367). London: Anthem Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Neri, M. C. (2010). Os emergentes dos emergentes: reflexões globais e ações locais para a nova classe média brasileira [The emergents of the emergents: Global and local reflections on the new Brazilian middle class]. Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Getulio Vargas.

    Google Scholar 

  • Neri, M. C. (2011). A nova classe média: o lado brilhante da base da pirâmide [The new middle class: The shining side of the base of the pyramid]. São Paulo: Editora Saraiva.

    Google Scholar 

  • Neri, M. C., Carvalhães, L., & Monte, S. D. R. S. (Eds.). (2010). Superação da Pobreza e a Nova Classe Média no Campo [Overcoming poverty and the new middle class in rural regions]. Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Getulio Vargas.

    Google Scholar 

  • Newman, J., & Clarke, J. (2009). Publics, politics and power: Remaking the public in public services. London: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pochmann, M. (2014). O mito da grande classe média: capitalismo e estrutura social [The myrth of the large middle class: Capitalism and social structure]. São Paulo: Boitempo.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ricoeur, P. (2000). The just. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rizek, C. S., Santo Amore, C., & de Camargo, C. M. (2014). Política social, gestão e negócio na produção das cidades: o programa Minha Casa Minha Vida “entidade” [Social policy, administration, and negotiation in the production of cities: The my house my life entities programme]. Cadernos CRH, 27(72), 531–546.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Roett, R. (2011). The new Brazil. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rolnik, R. (2015). Guerra dos Lugares [War of places]. São Paulo: Boitempo.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosa, M. (2015). Beyond the MST: The impact on social movements. In M. Carter (Ed.), Challenging social inequality: The landless workers’ movement and agrarian reform in Brazil (pp. 375–389). Durham: Duke University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Saad-Filho, A. (2013). Mass protests under ‘left neoliberalism’: Brazil, june–july 2013. Critical Sociolgy, 39(5), 657–669.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Saad-Filho, A., & Boito, A. (2016). Brazil: The failure of the PT and the rise of the ‘new right’. Socialist Register, 52, 213–230.

    Google Scholar 

  • Secco, L. (2014). A hegemonia tardia [Late hegemony]. In M. Pinheiro (Ed.), Ditadura: o que resta da transição (pp. 231–246). São Paulo: Boitempo.

    Google Scholar 

  • Silber, I. F. (2003). Pragmatic sociology as cultural sociology: Beyond repertoire theory? European Journal of Social Theory, 6(4), 427–449.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tedesco, M. C. (2013). Grassroots activist video documentary in Brazil and the construction of new cultural identities: The case of the homeless workers movement. Social Identities, 19(3–4), 371–385.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Thévenot, L. (2002). Which road to follow? The moral complexity of an “equipped” humanity. In J. Law & A. Mol (Eds.), Complexities: Social studies of knowledge practices (pp. 53–87). Durham, NH: Duke University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Thévenot, L. (2006). Institutions and agency: Differentiating regimes of engagement. Max Planck Summer Conference on Economy and Society. Italy: Lago di Como.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thévenot, L. (2011). Power and oppression from the perspectives of the sociology of engagements: A comparison with Bourdieu’s and Dewey’s critical approaches to practical activities. Irish Journal of Sociology, 19(1), 35–67.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Thévenot, L. (2012). Enlarging conceptions of testing moments and critical theory: Economies of worth, on critique and sociology of engagements. In S. Sussen & B. S. Turner (Eds.), The spirit of Luc Boltanski: Essays on the ‘pragmatic sociology of critique’ (pp. 235–244). London: Anthem Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thévenot, L. (2014). Voicing concern and difference: From public spaces to common-places. European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 1(1), 7–34.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Thévenot, L., et al. (2000). Forms of valuing nature: Arguments and modes of justification in French and American environmental disputes. In M. Lamont & L. Thévenot (Eds.), Rethinking comparative cultural sociology: Repertoires of evaluation in France and the United States (pp. 229–272). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Warner, M. (2002). Publics and counterpublics. New York: Zone Books.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Albert, V. (2019). Justification in Protest Publics: The Homeless Workers’ Movement in Brazil’s Crisis. In: Belyaeva, N., Albert, V., Zaytsev, D. (eds) Protest Publics. Societies and Political Orders in Transition. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-05475-5_7

Download citation