Introduction: The Day of the Rally
1 The Conurbano Bonaerense includes the nineteen districts in Argent
industrial heartland surrounding the federal capital of Buenos Aires.
Except for the names of the governor of the province of Buenos Aires an
wife, all the names of people and places used throughout this book have
changed to ensure anonymity.
2 All translations from my fieldwork notes are my own. The biggest pro
thatIconfrontedwhilewritingthisbookwastranslatingtranscriptsofconversat
and interviews from the original Spanish into an appropriate form of English
initial impulse was to use the street language that I had learned, not only from li
in New York, but also from conducting interviews with New York–born Pu
Ricans for another study and from reading ethnographic works. But my inform
wound up sounding like residents of ‘‘El Barrio’’ (East Harlem). So I chose ins
to use the most neutral language possible.That is why, to someone familiar wit
kind of Spanish spoken in Argentina, the transcripts may sound artificial, lackin
theydo the expressive richness of popular language. I have attempted as faras is
sible to retain the original grammatical form of the transcripts, sometimes no
the original Spanish for clarification.
3 Goffman refers to the situation in which the stigmatized person ‘‘may b
into placing brackets around a spate of casual interaction so as to examine wh
contained therein for general themes’’ (, ).
4 Fieldwork was carried out from December  to February  and f
July  to January  as part of mydoctoral dissertation project. In , I wo
in Villa Paraíso as an assistant researcher/social worker in the shantytown’s Ce
de Jubilados, under the auspices of a project funded by the Inter American Fou
tion, and my initial contacts in Paraíso came from this work.The original aim o
fieldwork was to reconstruct a history of problem solving in a poor neighborh
in Buenos Aires, with the implicit purpose of illustrating the increasing relevan
clientelistarrangementstothewayinwhichpoorpeoplesolvetheireverydaysur
problems.
5 For a recent insightful analysis of the relation between the pervasivene
clientelism and the ‘‘meanings of democracy’’ in a different sociocultural con
see Schaffer ().
6 Robert Gay’s recent work (see, e.g., Gay ) exposes and discredits
of the false and simplistic antinomies that populate the literature on clientelis
Latin America.
7 Fora seminal treatment of the relational characterof social inquiry, see B
dieu, Chamboderon, and Passeron (), Bourdieu and Wacquant (), and
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