There is growing interest in urbanization as currently a third of the worlds urban population live in slums, and by 2030 there may be two billion slum dwellers across the globe (Davies 2004, 17). During economic crises, slum dwellers are involved in increasing feats of self-exploitation. The literature on slums and informal settlements tends to focus on economic survival strategies, particularly those of men. But how do women, as the most marginalized and excluded slum-dwellers, survive in the face of poverty and gender oppression? What are the emotional rather than material costs of poverty? This book conveys the rich fabric of life in the slum.Body Parts on Planet Slum discusses the importance of Christianity and telenovelas, and explores what it is about womens lives in particular that makes these stories so central. Yet it is also increasingly clear that for the poorest women, church attendance has become a rare luxury whereas telenovelas are piped into their homes on a daily basis. The unemployed women watch up to six hours of telenovelas a day in the midst of arduous physical labour in the home. The women suffer in relation to their bodies, but invest in a masochistic glorification of suffering. It is this glorification of suffering that links the womens lives to the telenovelas in crucial ways. It reveals disturbing valuations of womens bodies that traverse reality and fiction, and connect to a central feminist question, What is a woman?
Body Parts on Planet Slum
Women and Telenovelas in Brazil