Fifth International Convention of Asian Studies

Rita d'Ávila Cachado, investigadora do projecto da A Cidade e a Rua, apresentou um paper na Fifth International Convention of Asian Studies,que decorreu em Kuala Lumpur, Malásia, entre 1 e 5 de Agosto de 2007, intitulado “Hindu women and housing problems: a case at Lisbon’s outskirts”. Aqui fica o abstract.

Abstract:Since mid-1960’s, the outskirts of Lisbon has been transformed with thriving neighbourhoods, made primarily out of wood. In the late 1970’s, with the former African colonies’ independences, 250 thousand people moved into these neighbourhoods, bringing bricks and buying the wooden houses – similar to those of their original locations. Hindu communities lived primarily in two of these neighbourhoods, such as Quinta da Vitoria – where the first Hindu temple in Portugal was built – which is the neighbourhood where I have been conducting my field research since 2000. Thirteen years ago, the Portuguese government introduced a special social housing program for those living in so-called shanty towns, which is not yet finished. Tired of waiting for a proper house, some people began to develop strategies, trying to hurry their housing process.Throughout the years, the group that gained more social mobility in that process were Hindu women. For the reason that they are ought to be in the house all day, they would have more time to go to welfare state institutions to require documents. Consequently, they had to improve Portuguese language, which most Hindu women normally did not need do learn and they had to try to understand the bureaucratic system. In this paper I will focus on an unexpected social mobility of women, since it comes from an exclusion site. Additionally, the institutional encounter between welfare institutions and immigrated populations living in these neighbourhoods need to be revised through a critical lens, since this institutional encounter has some reflexes with former colonial encounter.

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