Association for Feminist Anthropology
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
The purpose of this presentation is to reflect on some topics that I have been working on in my postdoctoral research. The main theme is the occurrence of sexual violence (official classification and umbrella term) against adolescents in favelas of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Based on ethnographic research, I try to understand how cases of sexual violence are named and classified within the local categories. In addition, I try to deal with the invisible, intimate and silent character of this violence, since only in extraordinary situations it gains the public space of the community. Insofar as these are militarized territories, located on the margins of the state (Das and Poole, 2008) and marked by the everyday occurrence of different types of violence (police, army, drug trafficking), these other types of violence appear to be easily detectable and named. My argument is based on two exemplary ethnographic cases that break the pattern of silence and invisibility. I use the narratives of adolescents and their mothers about these two cases trying to understand how they even seem extraordinary at first, but for instance reveal the ordinary character of violence and specifically of sexual and gender violence. The concept of vulnerability - taken as relational - allows us to understand how there is an overlapping of types of violence. I also depart from an intersectional perspective trying to understand the ways in which social markers of difference, such as gender, sexuality, race, class, and generation, are combined to explain these relations of vulnerability.