Sociability and collective action in a Lisbon workingclass neighbourhood: The social representations of Alcântara in the early twentieth century
In the second half of the nineteenth century, the peripheral area of Alcântara became one of Lisbon’s most important industrial centres. Its economic development was accompanied by a massive growth in population. As this area became urbanized and industrialized, the representations of the neighbourhood also changed. Within a few decades, Alcântara ceased to be associated with the image of a remote suburb, a place that had no clearly defined boundaries or a space defined solely in terms of its industrial function. This article presents the Alcântara neighbourhood as a case study that helps us understand how collective practices shape new representations of city and urban life. The objective of this article is to analyse the role of a republican voluntary association – the Society for the Promotion of Popular Education (Promotora – Sociedade Promotora de Educação Popular) – in transforming the representations associated with the Alcântara neighbourhood in the early twentieth century. During this period, Promotora helped shape different levels of ‘collective representations’ of Alcântara; it also contributed to the formation of an authentic urban lifestyle at the neighbourhood level, drawing attention to people who represented the local community and speaking on their behalf.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: CRIA-IUL, Instituto Universitario de Lisboa, ISCTE-IUL
Publication date: 01 June 2015
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