David Rodgers DAVID RODGERS

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Mana

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Abstract

BORGES, Antonádia. On people and variables: the ethnography of a political belief.Translated byDavid Rodgers. Mana [online]. 2006, vol.2Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0104-9313.

In the Brazilian Federal District (Brasilia), the local government's distribution of lots encourages thousands of people to enlist on its housing programs. Applicants are required to provide documentary proofs; these are classified according to variables, which are then fed into an equation designed to calculate the 'quantum' of worthiness of each applicant. After being quantified, each applicant is duly hierarchized. Changes in government lead to alterations to the formulas used in this calculation, while changes in people's lives lead to alterations to their classification. In this article, I explore how these vicissitudes on both sides balance out on the basis of a political belief which is at once shared and unstable.

Keywords : Ethnographical Theory; Rituals; Anthropology of Politics.

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