Living la Inseguridad and Making Sense of Urban Poor : A Discourse Analysis of Space and Bodies in Buenos Aires Transformed by Neoliberalism

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för genus, kultur och historia


In this thesis ethnographical interviews with women in Buenos Aires are analyzed with discourse theory in order to examine how discourses of safe/unsafe and urban poor construct places and bodies. A central element of discourse is argued to be the partially fixed inscription of danger in territories and bodies of the urban poor. Neoliberalism´s impact on urban space has meant a transformation of public space and  impacts on constructing reality. This transformation of meaning is connected to the neoliberal transformation of the labor market, once invested with rights and security, now deregulated and precarious. Urban poor are visible in every interviewed woman´s everyday life, but the way of constructing them as subjects varies with level of closeness and identification. The Argentine historic construction of Europeaness, modernity and civilization as opposed to Latin Americaness, backwardness and barbarism can be found in many of the women´s constructions of urban poor. So is the othering of them in relationship to motherhood and citizenship. The constructions of the urban poor are also analyzed with the Foucaultian concept of biopower.

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