Breaking the Cycle of Women's Paid Domestic Work in Brazil: A Study of Mothers and Daughters
Widening access to higher education has been a political issue in Brazil for a long time, but only in the early 2000s was the education system changed radically. Affirmative action policies were combined with the expansion of the network of federal universities and new funding programmes for higher education. This created a generation of people who are the first within their families to go to university.
This book portrays the life stories of mothers who are paid domestic workers in Brazil, and their daughters who belong to the first generation to obtain a higher education degree. The author investigates experiences of social mobility of the first-generation university entrants in contemporary Brazil from a novel perspective – the family dynamics between mothers and daughters. The book introduces the concept of intertwined memories to show how the mechanism of transmission of memories between mothers and daughters drove these women to a relationship of mutual support. This transformed trauma into empowerment, breaking vicious cycles of inequalities and poor mental health among these women.
Anna Maria Del Fiorentino is currently studying for her PhD in Education at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests are related to themes of maternity and motherhood, dignity in childhood and adolescence, human rights, inclusive feminism, social justice, LGBTQI+ issues, and anti-racism movements. At the core of her research is a quest to combine women’s empowerment and social mobility through education in order to bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come.
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