chapter  8
21 Pages

Black Bodies, Wrong Places

Rolezinho, Moral Panic, and Racialized Male Subjects in Brazil
WithOsmundo Pinho

This chapter presents an interpretation of a spectacular Brazilian social phenomenon known as rolezinho, the gathering of impoverished black teenagers, usually in shopping centers, to listen to funk music. Using newspaper articles, videos, and other texts produced from the moment the phenomenon first began, the chapter explores how interpretations of rolezinho in the media helped to build its sociological meaning and define the course of events in which it developed. I point to a moral panic that set the frame for the rolezinho’s spectacularized and violent history, and then ask how processes of subjectification, marked by inequality, violence, and racism, are the basis of agency for the young people involved, precisely because subjectivity and performative agency appear to define the political and explosive content of the phenomenon.