Professor Jeffrey W. Rubin and Emma Sokoloff-Rubin tell the behind-the-scenes story of this remarkable movement in their new book Sustaining Activism: A Brazilian Women’s Movement and a Father-Daughter Collaboration. As a father-daughter team, they describe the challenges of ethnographic research and the way their collaboration gave them a unique window into a fiery struggle for equality.
In 1986, a group of young Brazilian women started a movement to secure economic rights for rural women and transform women’s roles in their homes and communities. Together with activists across the country, they built a new democracy in the wake of a military dictatorship. In Sustaining Activism, Jeffrey W. Rubin and Emma Sokoloff-Rubin tell the behind-the-scenes story of this remarkable movement.
Starting in 2002, Rubin and Sokoloff-Rubin traveled together to southern Brazil, where they interviewed activists over the course of ten years. Their vivid descriptions of women’s lives reveal the hard work of sustaining a social movement in the years after initial victories, when the political way forward was no longer clear and the goal of remaking gender roles proved more difficult than activists had ever imagined. Highlighting the tensions within the movement about how best to effect change, Sustaining Activism ultimately shows that democracies need social movements in order to improve people’s lives and create a more just society.
For more information and to purchase the book you can visit their website here.
The Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs co-sponsored a conference called Religion, Social Movements, and Zones of Crisis in Latin America with the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future in April, 2012. Below are two links to recordings of two of the talks presented at this conference.
This is a recording of one of the talks at that event by Amanda Horhardt, a master’s student at the State University of Campinas, Brazil (UNICAMP), titled, “Everyday Politics in the Periphery of São Paulo: Catholic Church and Housing Movement Intertwined.” In her talk, Ms. Horhardt shared experiences from her field work that illustrate the dynamics between the housing movement, Evangelicals, and Catholics.
This is recording of one of the talks at that event by an expert on Latin America, Rafael Sánchez from Amsterdam University College titled, “Seized by the Spirit: The Mystical Foundation of Squatting among Pentecostals in Caracas.” In his talk, he discussed his field research with the squatters. He calls their mission, “The most aggressive logic of…spatial occupation I have ever seen.” He said the movement fits into a larger picture of “horizontal recuperation” and a withdrawal from political life in Venezuela.
Professor Adam Seligman received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Faculty of History and Philosophy of the Paissiy Hilendarski University of Plovdiv in Bulgaria at a ceremony on Monday, January 16th. The honor was bestowed for his achievements in integrating scientific work with practical work around issues of the public good and overcoming religious and ethnic enmities between communities. He delivered a lecture entitled, “What Makes us Moral” on the occasion.