Dernière mise à jour le 5 September 2019

“The notion of “barrio” not only evokes exclusion, segregation, deterioration, unaccepted and unacceptable, but also contrasts with that of urbanization and urban society.”

“There is in fact a whole social theory that defines a priori the barrio, on which political action in urban development is based and on which the behaviour of society and the inhabitants of disadvantaged neighbourhoods depends. It is important to know these mechanisms of thought and action in order to finally be able to rehabilitate barrios with methodology.”

“Very often, the term barrio is assimilated to that of a village (or “popular area”, probably because it is originally made up of rural people. But these notions immediately refer to a poor social class and from there a strategic relationship is established between the State, social agents and barrio populations. For their part, residents consider these neighbourhoods as the limits of their rightful space in an urban area; and the State and social institutions consider the barrio as an ideal place to extend their domination over society. In fact, the barrio represents a strategic social space where all the actors of a society are present: the individual, the family, the neighbourhood group, the State and social institutions. But these “tactical” relationships are essentially due to the general tendency of the ruling class to impose the idea that barrios constitute a homogeneous unit where the dynamics and processes of solidarity remain internal.”

“It must be understood that the barrio is heterogeneous in its internal functioning – everyone’s interests are different – and in its relations with the outside world – where social, economic or political interests mix without distinction. In other words, the barrio does not simply correspond to a form of housing, with its streets, walls and stairs; it is, more than a simple urban district, a society in its own right, the proof is that institutions are social actors par excellence; to fully understand how this popular organization is structured, it is important to immerse oneself in the symbolic and moral relationships of institutions such as the family, friendship and neighbourhood.”


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