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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Sep 25, Amy rated it it was amazing. I was at times uncomfortable with how things went but it demonstrates the messiness of fieldwork and ethics. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. The introduction announces Beihl’s aspirations to vitq a book of a “texture [that would] stay as close as possible to Catarina’s words, to her own thinking-through of her condition” Truly enjoyed reading this book despite the heartbreak.

That being said, this is a sensitive piece of work that looks with empathy and grace at the life of a remarkable woman who was abandoned by family, the bieyl system, and the state.

Biehl’s thought provoking study not only renders visible the appalling experiences of the marginalized individual s at the asylum, but also shows the impact of social, political and cultural aspects of Brazil that further deepen the desolation of the poor as well as perpetuate the infringement of basic human rights.


Biehl is the co-editor of “When People Come First: Biehl is the co-editor of When People Come First: Quotes from Catarina’s conversations with Biehl pervade this study as a whole, yet her voice is made most prevalent in the last portion of the study through the inclusion of excerpts of her dictionary.

Want to Read saving…. Vita garnered seven major book awards, including the J.

Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment

Jan 28, Bill Shaner rated it really liked it. He is currently the Susan Dod Biiehl Professor of Anthropology at Princeton where he teaches medical anthropology and courses on science, technology and society, cultural globalization, and social theory.

Aug 09, Lisa rated it it was amazing. Its emotional and claims to be theoretical.

João Biehl

Infobox person using alma mater Articles with hCards Year of birth missing living people Place of birth missing living people. Both Vita and Will to Live explore new geographies of access and marginalization that have emerged alongside pharmaceutical globalization. He earned a doctorate in Joo from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in Religion from the Graduate Theological Union Staley Bieul School for Advanced Research I know I am super biased because cultural anthropology was what I studied during college, but this is mind-blowing.

A series of Catarina’s writing from to constitutes the last part of Biehl’s study, “The Dictionary. Each part vuta 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. Kenyu rated it really liked it Jul 07, This could have been strengthened however with the inclusion of the quotes, [End Page ] interviews and Catarina’s writings in Portuguese. Absolutely one of best ethnographies I’ve ever read.


In addition to the introduction, conclusion, joal postscript VITA: Apr 26, Michael Mena rated it it was amazing. His point is not always entirely clear. Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment is divided into six lengthy parts.

Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment is a well-researched study with a fine balance between theoretical discussions and thorough fieldwork, offering a complex and original insight into the dynamics of social abandonment in contemporary Brazil. One can quibble with what the book does less persuasively.


Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment by João Biehl

Ethnographic Investigations University of California Press. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Published June 27th by University of California Press first published