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Laughter Out of Place: Rio de Janeiro by Mind Map: Laughter Out of Place:
Rio de Janeiro
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Laughter Out of Place: Rio de Janeiro

"women of color offer themselves to the whites"

"mulata babes" offered as escorts

the Low Other


humor: intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality

favelas: shantytowns participant observation

separated population from the outside


laughter despite poverty

structures of power: organized, unpredictable


oral and inaccessible to outsiders, oral tradition ignored by elites

benefits from being a female anthropologist

conservative vs. radical

humor: allows for social strains to be expressed

brings attention to things that are otherwise unquestioned


interactions between classes

'black humor' is understood amongst all classes

laughter: "small arms fire in the class war"


Chapter 1:


people still have friends across all classes

every home still has a television

Rio: class/image

positive image of diversity

violent, exaggerated inequality between classes

carnival, reinforces class positions, gender, sexual hierarchies, humor is 'carnivalesque: makes fun of circumstances, "laughter reveals the fault lines in social relations"

Chapter 2:

Return visit to Rio de Janero

The letter

personal nature of other people's mail

knowing what was upsetting was beneficial to everyone, unclear personal boundaries

parental relationships, Beth is upset by her daughter finding independance, Gloria wishes her children were independant, poverty: burden of multiple children, children are meant to become independant, feels like raising children is another responsibility


making money takes priority over school

race and class effect job options

main job option: house cleaner, faxineira, work card

hard labor for little pay, barely enough to support a family

derogatory terms

humor: making the best of the names

Chapter 3:

relationships assumed based on race

racism is not publicly discussed

there is no race-based affirmative action

racism is similar to the rest of south/central america

only seems different when compared to the United States

marrying into money

means of escaping poverty


attaining a better life

racialized values of attractiveness

Chapter 4:

criminal life:

crentes: religious converts, hope to save people from a criminal life

"white daughter"

specify race even when it is not relevant

absurd nature of poverty

woman's choice

Pablo threatens if his woman gets and abortion he will kill her

if a woman has sex she should be prepared for the consequences

"the good life"

material luxuries

very few cases of social mobility

creates anger and resentment amongst lower class

two different kinds of childhood

nutured, priveledged

nuturing, poor: take on responsibilities

Chapter 5:

violence more present in lower class neighborhoods

visual signs of racial divide

middle class obsessed with the idea and fear of crime

this fear perpetuates violence


seen as a luxury in the middle class

seen as a huge danger in the lower class, metido: involved, endangering yourself and your family

opting for gang life

only means of social mobility

insiders and outsiders

outsiders will 'dirty' the community

crime prevention:

cops are easily bribed

gives the illusion that the middle class is not involved in crime

Chapter 6:

poverty and sexuality

used to control and victimize marginalized populations

some things are said; some things left unsaid about sexuality

Felicidad Eterna

machismo naturalized and normalized, "this carnivalization of desire in largely, although not entirely, a masculinist vision of desire and transgression

no way to discuss sexuality:, poorly developed/taboo

sexual joking

harmless social interactions

verbal confirmation of the importance of sexuality in the culture


only a partial truth

defines social interactions in Rio, highlights underlying values of the society

self-promoted sexual image


upper class model vs lower class model, upper: sexual identity defined by sexual object of choice, lower class: divided along both sexual and social gender roles, homens: men, bichas: worms

sexuality defined by your role

sexuality as a consumption metaphor

active role or passive role

defined by whether you are active or passive, not by what you consume

Chapter 7:

spousal abuse seen as a normality

the humor in rape:

the combination of sexuality and violence

causes an equally violent reaction

standard that women hold men to for protection: irony

dark humor

taste is not a neutral concept

able to laugh at the hopelessness of the situation

humor is only understood under certain contexts, class, gender, race, sexuality all decide this

Gives an understanding on how people experience and deal with their lives.