Paper short abstract:
This paper analyzes emotions in narratives of victimization in Rio de Janeiro. It focuses on the recurrence of compassion and contempt in interviewees' depictions of their feelings and discusses these emotions as an attempt of restoring hierarchies perceived as disrupted by urban violence.
Paper long abstract:
This paper analyzes emotions described in narratives of victimization among middle-class people in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It aims to explore the so-called "contextualist" (Lutz and Abu-Lughod, 1990) trend in anthropology of emotions for the understanding of violence, focusing on the micro-political dimension of emotion discourses on victimization. Data analyzed consists of a set of six in-depth interviews conducted with three couples who have, man and wife together, been through an experience of having their residences assaulted while in there. The analysis focuses on the recurrence of two emotions in interviewees' depictions of their feelings towards assailants: compassion and contempt. The emergence of these two emotions, whose relations to social hierarchies have already been pointed out by social scientists, is then interpreted as an attempt of re-establishing hierarchies to which assaults are perceived as disruptive.
Violence, personhood and emotions