Sharing This Walk: An Ethnography of Prison Life and the PCC in Brazil

Sharing This Walk: An Ethnography of Prison Life and the PCC in Brazil

by Karina Biondi, John F. Collins

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Overview

The Primeiro Comando do Capital (PCC) is a Sao Paulo prison gang that since the 1990s has expanded into the most powerful criminal network in Brazil. Karina Biondi's rich ethnography of the PCC is uniquely informed by her insider-outsider status. Prior to his acquittal, Biondi's husband was incarcerated in a PCC-dominated prison for several years. During the period of Biondi's intense and intimate visits with her husband and her extensive fieldwork in prisons and on the streets of Sao Paulo, the PCC effectively controlled more than 90 percent of Sao Paulo's 147 prison facilities. 

Available for the first time in English, Biondi's riveting portrait of the PCC illuminates how the organization operates inside and outside of prison, creatively elaborating on a decentered, non-hierarchical, and far-reaching command system. This system challenges both the police forces against which the PCC has declared war and the methods and analytic concepts traditionally employed by social scientists concerned with crime, incarceration, and policing. Biondi posits that the PCC embodies a "politics of transcendence," a group identity that is braided together with, but also autonomous from, its decentralized parts. Biondi also situates the PCC in relation to redemocratization and rampant socioeconomic inequality in Brazil, as well as to counter-state movements, crime, and punishment in the Americas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469630311
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 10/12/2016
Series: Latin America in Translation/en Traducción/em Tradução
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 222
Sales rank: 1,013,907
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Karina Biondi, author of Junto e Misturdado: uma etnografia do PCC, holds a doctorate in social anthropology from the Federal University of Sao Carlos in Sao Paulo.

Editor and translator John F. Collins is associate professor of anthropology at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is author of Revolt of the Saints: Memory and Redemption in the Twilight of Brazilian Racial Democracy.
Karina Biondi, the author of Junto e Misturdado: uma etnografia do PCC, holds a doctorate in social anthropology from the Federal University of Sao Carlos in Sao Paulo.
Editor and translator John F. Collins is associate professor of anthropology at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the author of Revolt of the Saints: Memory and Redemption in the Twilight of Brazilian Racial Democracy.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Karina Biondi's bold ethnography . . . gives new meaning to the notion that anthropologists should work from wherever we find ourselves. . . . Biondi invites us to consider the real costs of extreme social inequality in Brazil which, alongside of the inhumanity of the criminal justice system and the de facto civil war between police and the marginal, prefigures circumstances in which an illicit, criminal organization is able to produce far more in the way of conflict management and public security than the official, 'legitimate' state.—Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology

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