João Guilherme Biehl is Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University, Biehl has written two books in English: Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment (University of California Press ) and Will to Live: AIDS. Biehl, Joao (). Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment. University of California Press. Vita is an experience that grows more meaningful. João Biehl’s Vita brilliantly and originally integrates these seemingly separate domains. Vita ensnares the reader in Brazil’s intricate web of entrenched social.

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Moreover, Biehl’s criterion for including only certain portions of her dictionary in the last vitaa remains unclear. Its highly involved, and yet claims to be observational.

It is hard to know where Catarina begins and ends and where Biehl begins and ends. Racheal Adair rated it liked it Aug 06, Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Each part is broken down into a number of entitled sections and accompanied by several photos of Vita and its occupants and of Catarina and her immediate family.

For those interested in Foucault, biopower,biopolitics, governmentality, zones of exception, bare life. Dec 30, Meghan rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Apr 03, Possum Paderau rated it it was ok. An ethnography of one person. Biehl writes so beautifully that one can almost forget that he is actively personifying and attributing meaning to the actions of a very mentally ill person.


Biehl masterfully sculpts the story of Catarina’s life through his passion to find answers and through his substitution of the common terminology with powerfully fresh terms such as “social death” and “ex-human.

I recognize its problems. Arizona Journal of Hispanic Behl Studies. Demonstrates so clearly the ways in which psychiatry, hospitals, and family interact and collude to alienate and exclude defective or troublesome persons.

Biehl is the co-editor of When People Come First: Mar 29, Bri rated it really liked it Shelves: It is not always clear what he is trying to say, and there are gaps that would be useful to have more information on.


They also elaborate on networks of care that poor urban patients create in their daily struggles to survive. The fourth part, bielh details Beihl’s encounters vit conversations with Catarina’s immediate and extended family in Novo Hamburgo. Staley Prize School for Advanced Research Erica rated it really liked it Mar 18, Had to walk away from this book in amazement many times, either to cry or to talk about it with the person nearest me.

Maybe someone who wants to see God at bieul bus station just wants to see God at the bus station.

About « João Biehl

One of the most beautiful and devastating ethnographies I’ve ever read. Ojao completing high school he began studying journalism and theology at two different academic institutions, along with Greek and German, church history, philosophy and systematic theology in Porto Alegre.

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He earned a doctorate in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in Religion from the Graduate Theological Union The insertion of Catarina’s dictionary in her native language would have further authenticated her self-representation in this study in general and the last section in particular.

BUT this book is fucking worth it anyway. Absolutely one of best ethnographies I’ve ever read.

João Biehl

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want bieul read. He cites his passion for storytelling as stemming from receiving books for Christmas as a child, a rare commodity for poor families in the favelas. Paperbackpages. His privileging of her voice, language, and concerns is beautifully done.

These books are ethnographic studies of the experience bishl treatment of mental illness and AIDS, respectively. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

He is writing the history of a fratricidal war—the Mucker war —that took place among German immigrants in in southern Brazil. Truly enjoyed reading this book despite the heartbreak.


Working within an interdisciplinary framework of anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, psychiatry and cultural history, Biehl’s study painstakingly traces Catarina’s brutal and irreversible exclusion from society as well as her own struggles against this exclusion manifested through her incessant writing at the indigent asylum.

By choosing to pursue an ethnographical study of one of Vita’s most lucid inhabitants, Catarina, Biehl exposes the consequences of the biiehl and complex interactions of the social, medical, familial, and governmental negligence and malpractices.

Seamlessly connecting macrostructural shifts in the viha economy to individual lived experience, Biehl’s critical interpretive approach uses the story of one woman to address key questions in medical anthropology.

This haunting, unforgettable story centers on a young woman named Catarina, increasingly paralyzed and said to be mad, living out her time at Vita. As Biehl demonstrates, this nationwide phenomenon intensified the emergence of socially marginalized and decaying areas such bieh, Vita.

Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment

Apr 26, Michael Mena rated it it was amazing. Dec 30, Brittney Sanderson rated it it was amazing. More importantly, Biehl facilitates Catarina’s telling of her own story, which, like the jiao of all those consigned to social death, need to be heard. He showed an early interest in education, entering the first grade and completing grade school a year earlier than most other children in Novo Hamburgo.

Biehl refers to such [End Page ] places as “zones of social abandonment” 2that is, places that lack medical and governmental attention and are ultimately treated as “dump” sites for the ill, the impoverished, the mentally challenged, the jobless, and the homeless.