Skip to content

PARCC Conversations~ Waging Class Struggle with Plants: Intra-class difference and the meanings of greening labor in Rio de Janeiro

400 Eggers Hall, the PARCC Conference Room

Add to: Outlook, ICal, Google Calendar

Guest Speaker: John Burdick is Professor of Anthropology at Syracuse University.  In Rio de Janeiro, advantageously-located social housing projects are currently experiencing unprecedented informal market pressure from middle class buyers. This pressure, though largely illicit and irregular, has as a major effect the deepening and aggravation of intra-class difference and hierarchy among the working-class residents of social housing projects. In this tense and shifting context, greening labor has emerged as a key site of struggle between segments of the working class to control the terms of their relations to this market pressure. Indeed, plants’ capacity to symbolize, embody and enact territorial control, social status, exchange value, and relations with the spiritual world, make them key instruments of struggle between different segments of the working class, as they position themselves in relation to the titanic forces of gentrification.
John Burdick is Professor of Anthropology at Syracuse University. His work has focused for the past 35 years on the role of popular culture and religion in political mobilization and activism. His area of expertise is Brazil. Since 2016 he has led a Brazil-based research team on the impacts of social housing projects on different segments of the working class. 

Conversations in Conflict Studies is a weekly educational speaker series for students, faculty, and the community. The series, sponsored by PARCC, draws its speakers from Syracuse University faculty, national and international scholars and activists, and PhD students. Pizza is served. Be sure to check out the full list of speakers.

If you require accommodations, please contact Deborah Toole by email or by phone at 315.443.2367 at least one week prior to the event.   

Open to




Contact to request accommodations