How the international war on poverty shapes identities, relationships, politics, and urban space in Peru.
Unruly Domestication investigates how Peru’s ongoing, internationally endorsed "war on poverty" shapes politics, intimate identities, and urban space in Lima. Drawing on a decade of embedded, ethnographic research in Lima’s largest and most recently founded “extreme poverty zone,” Kristin Skrabut demonstrates how Peru’s efforts to fight poverty by formalizing property, identity, and family status perpetuate environmentally unsustainable urban sprawl, deepen discrimination against single mothers, and undermine Peruvians’ faith in public officials and in one another. In the process, Skrabut reveals myriad entanglements of poverty, statecraft, and private life, exploring how families are made and unmade through political practices, how gender inequalities are perpetuated through policy, and how Peruvians’ everyday pursuits of state-sanctioned domestic ideals reproduce informality and landscapes of poverty in the urban periphery.
The only full-length ethnography written about Lima’s iconic and policy-inspiring shantytowns in thirty years, Unruly Domestication provides valuable insight into the dynamics of housing and urban development in the Global South, elucidating the most intimate and profound effects of global efforts to do good.