LGBT Políticas Públicas in Rio Grande do Sul as social and political performative spaces: process, participant regimes and identities
Brazil is growing economically and, as one of the BRICs, claims to have created 40 million new middle-class persons during the past decade. Participation among lower-income neighbourhoods has been a part of politics in Porto Alegre since the early 1990s, and in most neighbourhoods basic needs have now been met. Middle-class identities unite people across space and different neighbourhoods, and identity politics is emerging, focused on issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation. This means that individual identities can be explored and provided for. The result is the growth of more vocal identity-based groups, while governments have a greater capacity to engage with their needs. \ud Políticas Públicas engages with more groups than ever. Locally, more globalised cultural models and identity classifications have emerged, adapted to the cultural specificities of Rio Grande. LGBT identities are integral to this. These groups seem to be riding the wave of middle-class power, nationally. Locally, they are building on the cultural receptivity of the State as being liberal and cosmopolitan with which to engage. This is a heartland for LGBT political mobilisation and of public engagement with participatory politics. This research explores how participatory spaces are used, asking what they are; their claims; who uses them; what sort of identities are invoked in them; and what social and institutional relationships of knowledge and voice/power are at play. \ud In answering these questions, the research utilises a range of methods including an ethnographic suite of tools to engage with a range of local groups, both within and outside of participatory settings. This establishes the world views and motives of different groups and individuals within these groups, revealing diversities among those defined as LGBT. In turn, this has enabled understanding of the minutiae of the local social worlds and through so-doing makes an original contribution to the furtherance of existing academic knowledge.
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