The Paradigm of Potency and the Pedagogy of Coexistence

Fernando Lannes Fernandes, Jailson de Souza Silva, Jorge Barbosa

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    At present, hate and social indifference dominate public debate, political rhetoric and media narratives. They gain momentum in the disrespect generated by ethnic, moral and religious discourse — one that emphasizes opposition to the other, to the different. In this regressive social scenario, there has arisen a paradigm that threatens democracy and tolerance for difference.

    Allied to this process, sectarianism, in its various forms, pervades various ideological agendas — present equally among the extreme left and extreme right — intensifying political and symbolic tensions.

    Such elements comprise the current structure, one that produces, supports, and disseminates discourses that serve to legitimize the dehumanization of whole social groups, intensifying the discarding of those marked as different or antagonistic.

    For this discursive plan, which spreads in an alarming and devastating way in its sociability, favelas, peripheries, slums, occupations and other living arrangements share stereotypical symbolic representations in the urban scenario, typically associated with negative and prejudiced labels. Finally, such discourse reinforces social and physical characteristics inferior to normative patterns defined by hegemonic aesthetic regimes and conservative models of urban habitation.

    Following the contributions of Pierre Bourdieu, and considering the urban space a field in which the symbolic capital of territoriality and its inhabitants aggregate economic and social status, we understand the accumulation of symbolic capital in the city as central to the accumulation of economic and social capital.
    Therefore, in our first edition of PERIPHERIES Journal, we argue that the improvement of means and conditions of existence in popular territories in large part depends upon changes in symbolic markers.
    These are changes that do not, however, ingrain themselves with the incorporation of the dominant conceptions of aesthetics and habitation. Rather, they involve a recognition of the inventive capacity — the result of strategies and affirmation of interaction in the urban space — possessed by the populations of unequal territories.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages16
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - May 2018


    • Peripheries
    • Paradigm of Potency
    • Coexistance
    • Urban community


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