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Goldstein's Laughter Out of Place by Mind Map: Goldstein
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Goldstein's Laughter Out of Place

Introduction, "Hard Laughter"

Humor as a theme

Humor as a theme

Residents of the "shantytowns" feel separate from outside forces

shantytowns are populated largely by people living poor or in povertyThe people in these towns are at the mercy of forces beyond their control

Laughter was everywhere

It seemed as if the laughter was a sort of running commentary about the political and economic influences on their lives

Finding the meaning in the humor is a means of discovering a culture

Chapter 1, Laughter "Out of Place"

First Arrival

arrives for New Years and becomes familiar with the rich traditions of Brazil

Scholar In Training

During undergraduate years, became active in US-Latin-America relations As a graduate student, began studying anthropology in Rio; AIDS and women


Many scholars believe it is central to Brazilian consciousness Everything is permissible, but men have a wider freedom The real truth was that the everyday experiences in the shantytowns truly represented life, not the Carnival

Habits of Class and Domination

Aim was not only to explain why something was funny, but to capture the ethnographic context

Class relations of women living in shantytowns during the late 20th century

Chapter 2, The Aesthetics of Domination

Domestic Work

One of the lowest paying jobs with a disproportionately high number of Afro-Brazilian women working

Workers wages are not enough to live on

Employing a domestic worker is a class marker

Middle class is defined by the ability to pay someone else to do their manual labor

The more workers someone employs, the more prestige they have It is through these employer-employee relationships that the working class become involved in the lives of the elite

Dramatic change in the increasing feminization of its workforce and the participation of children

A major indicator of change in the division of classes was the fact that Gloria was able to eat the same food that she prepared, which was not always the case, Labor practices mirror savery, Affectionate relationships do develop between the employed and employers, Domestic workers have linguistic limitations

Public schools are mediocre, so good schooling is not available to the poor. limiting their opportunities

Laughter Out of Place

Laughing while watching telenovelas, for instance, and during the tragedies of the rich is a way of separating them from the absurd conditions that they live in in reality It elevates and sustains families, solidifying class and cultural distinctions

Chapter 4, No Time for Childhood

Pedro Paulo

-Gloria's son -killed due to drug-related activities thought thatt the job of the man wa to put food on the table; if this is done, he may have as many women as he wants -hated abortion -double standard on fidelity

Children, City Walls, Street Children, Violence, Nurturing, Living on the street causes extreme vulnerability, especially for females children, FUNABEM, Sometimes, godparents or close friends take the children in if needed, Gloria also expelled children to the street for misbehavior, Upper classes tend to approach situations with less of a survivaltist view than the poor, Children also told "funny stories" of pain and tragedy, Local gang leader of favela mandated no child beatings

Chapter 3, Color-Blind Erotic Democracies

When Eliana is seen with her light-skinned grandson, it is assumed that she is the lower-class nanny and he is the upper-class whit child

Race vs. Class, Traits that are considered "African" are shunned, as they are taken to represent clavery, Ana Flavia Pecanha Azeredo

Living in a favela is an automatic class marker in Brazil

-those with "whiter" characteristics are believed to have a better chance at getting a good job, although research says otherwise

coroas, Representations of black bodies

European men and "Indian" women began mixing races (1800's, Freyre)

-women of color "offer themselves"to the whites (according to Freyre)-racial purification, rape

Low in come, mixed race and black women are at the bottom of several class hierarchies, Anthropologists have found race and sexuality difficult to address, and may be surrounded with silence and jokes or humor, low-income women would consider using their sexuality to receive help from the coroa, Many commentaries about race and racism continue to be laced with jokes

Chapter 5, State Terror, Gangs, and Everyday Violence in Rio de Janeiro

Violent Crime

-worst in the poorest communities -favelas have reputation for harboring criminals -cycles of calm and violence

Local Gangs led by "reasonable" persons, Seduction, For middle and upper classes, some sembalence of law exists, working class are most often the victims of police violence

Drug-Trafficking, Dlmer, Ivo, Brago, oppositional culture, Disdain for the police, Criminalization of the poor, Parallel states, Gangs, Religious conversion, "Police-Bandits", Revenge, Private Matters, Brown Zones, Stark difference in threat of violence in classes

Chapter 6, Partial Truths, or the Carnivalization of Desire

Sexuality and Poverty

masculinist version of desire and transgression

sexuality is key metaphor to Cariocas; sexual joking and teasing is a verbal confirmation of the centrality of sexuality to social life, ageless interest in sex talk

New node

The Carnivalization of Desire

self-promoted image of an eroticized "tropical paradise", body liberation/revealing clothing style

public flirtation, pleasurable and complimentary of women's bodies

male homosexuality, upper and lower class models, active and passive

Brazilian feminists, avoidance of body issues and sexuality, leaves poorer, darker skinned Afro-Brazilians in position of second-class citizens, discourse finds voice through humor

Sexual Culture in Felicidade Eterna

Sexual/Eating metaphors, comer- to eat/to consume sexually, women generally seen as passive; the "dar" or give, you are defined by whether you are a person who eats, or one who is eaten, women break off relationships with men who literally eat (consume) too much and produce too little

From Boys to Men: Normative Masculinization and Heterosexuality

class-specific regimes of sexulaity, if not blessed with money, at least blessed with good sex

believed that it is unhealthy for men to go too long without sex

Gloria desired to plan Luca's first sexual experience, double standard for male and female children


linking "notions of aggression and hostility, play and amusement, sexual excitement, and erotic practice in a single symbolic complex", can be good or bad

padastros- dangerous men, or stepfathers, the one who raises you does not "eat" you

sexual abuse

Partial Truths

poor women are left as the guardians against a socially constructed transgressive male sexulaity, epidemic of child sexual abuse, training of young boys for manhood

women constrained by the sex-positive language and attitudes that make it hard for women to protest male infidelity or govern male transgressive sexuality

Chapter 7, What's So Funny About Rape

Marila's failed attempt to murder her husband

Celso neglected his young family

abusive, unfaithful

Evening of Terror

laughter and rape

Gloria's family assaulted

rape of a child is cause for murder in shantytowns

downplay trauma with humor

Battling Mothers and Daughters

Anita pregnant after rape

actually from her boyfriend Gabriel, Gloria insisted she abort

when daughters lose virginity, they must move from the house

Gloria's storytelling of the rape allowed her to criticize teenage pregnancy, daughters should demand economic support from their men

highlight suffering through narrations

Legal Universe and Rape

distrust and fear of the police, rapes aren't reported

anachronistic legal codes regarding class, race, gender, and sexulaity

differences between upper and lower classes in court, adjudication difficult

Black Humor as the Only Response

humor understood in its place

dominated class have few options but absurd laughter


understanding humor can provide a unique window into how impoverished working women in the shantytowns of Rio understand and experience their lives

deepening layers of context to stories

women are not always passive to the discourses of domination that constrict their lives

How to integrate democratic law into the "brown zones?", gang retaliation still permeates

progress is slow