Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Licia Valladares -- University Education and Social Mobility in the Favelas of Rio

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

McKinney Conference Room

"University Education and Social Mobility in the Favelas of Rio," with Licia Valladares. 

This qualitative on-going research points to an underestimated urban aspect of decreasing inequalities in Brazil. Differentiation within the population of the favelas is increasing, with clear signs of upward social mobility. This mobility is to a large extent linked with improvements in education, one aspect of which is an increasing access to higher education. Private and public policies have been recognized as responsible for such changes: the Cursinhos Pré-vestibulares Comunitarios (courses given by the "community" that prepare for the entrance exam to the universities); the quota system first introduced by some public universities like UERJ and now becoming a federal policy; and the PROUNI (a federal government policy that gives scholarships to the urban poor). But does a university diploma make a difference? Some results obtained from interviews may contribute to the answer...

Licia Valladares has a PhD in sociology from the University of Toulouse-le Mirail. Over the course of her career she has held numerous academic appointments in both Brazil and France, and is currently both Professor of Sociology (emeritus) at the University of Lille 1, France, and associate researcher at the Institute of Social and Political Sciences-State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (IESP-UERJ). There, she is working on a project on social mobility through education among favela residents. She has published prolifically in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, on the themes of: squatter settlements, housing policy, and social movements; urban poverty and social policies; state of the art and future agendas on urban research in Brazil and Latin America; and different methods of observation and the impact of the Chicago School of Sociology in Brazil. Some of her most recent publications include: “Educacao e mobilidade social nas favelas do Rio de Janeiro: o caso dos universitarios (graduandos e graduados) das favelas” (Dilemas, Revista de Estudos de Conflito e Controle Social, 2009); “A visita do Robert Park ao Brasil, o ‘homem marginal; e a Bahia como laboratorio,” (Caderno CRH, 2010); and “Le langage de la coopéracion internacionale: Peace Corps et ONGs dans les favelas a Rio de Janeiro,” (in Cefai and Josephs eds, L’Héritage du Prgamatisme: conflits d’urbanité et épreuves de civisme 2002).

Location: McKinney Conference Room, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street.