In the context of macro-level political and economic changes, how do poor women and men living in Rio de Janeiro understand the idea of citizenship? Is it relevant to their daily lives? Because the poor have not reaped the rewards of macro-economic reforms and do not have confidence in the effectiveness of formal democratic participation, they have developed new ways of understanding citizenship. These have evolved in response to needs dictated by family, community, and gender relations, helping people to obtain access to the city’s resources on a daily basis. Ultimately, citizenship means participation with dignity in the city’s life.
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