in the late 1960s ... Ms Perlman and her team completed a study of 750 people. The book that came out of this, The Myth of Marginality (1976), argued that far from being a cancerous growth that was harming the city, favela dwellers actually kept the place going, by doing all of the low-income jobs that a city needs to get done.
Earlier this decade Ms Perlman went back and tried to track down as many of the original participants as she could, to see how they had fared. She managed to find just over 40% of the original study group Her findings were surprising. More than half of the original study group had moved out of the favelas, suggesting they are not the dead-end that many people suppose. In general, Ms Perlman finds far more social mobility than the reams of favela studies would suggest. * Muchacho Fermier, The Economist * a valuable and vivid study of life as it has been lived by the poor in one of Latin America's biggest cities. * Michael Reid, Times Literary Supplement * This book deserves its broad public reception. No work on informal settlements can compare with the longitudinal breadth of Favela, and in this respect the work is an invaluable achievement. * Alessandro Angelini, CUNY Graduate Center, Social Forces Journal *show more