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I am a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Toronto. My pronouns are she/her.

I'm a researcher, writer, and educator -- and above all a storyteller. My research is at the intersections of the sociology of violence, crime, and punishment; gender studies and feminist theory; and narrative analysis. I study how people and institutions tell stories of harm and violence and how these stories are shaped by social structures. I have written about fast-food corporations' discourses about meat and environmental harmteenage girls’ narratives of homicide in Brazil, incarcerated women’s imagined futures in the United States, and incarcerated men’s personal experiences with police violence in Baltimore, U.S

My work has appeared in The British Journal of Criminology, Women & Criminal Justice, and Cultural SociologyI am also the current course instructor for Social Control at the University of Toronto, St. George campus, and a research assistant for the SSHRC Insight Grant (2021-2026) Bringing Democracy into the Law: Urban Inequalities and Struggles over Rights and Fairness in the Brazilian Justice System. 

I am currently working on a dissertation about how economic precarity, state violence, the transnational cocaine economy, and intra-community violence meet and enmesh in the lives of young women working at the bottom of the cocaine economy in the deep south of South America, in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil.

In this project, I hope to understand how practices and representations about gender and violence are shaped and transformed by structural and contextual changes. Specifically, I investigate how particular economic and social transformations in Brazil, as well as changes in drug markets in Porto Alegre, (re)produce gendered subjectivities and dispositions that inform how young women perceive, negotiate, and engage in violence. This dissertation is funded by the Ontario Graduate Scholarship for International Students (2021-2023).

I hold a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of São Paulo and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul. Before becoming a full-time researcher, I worked as a writer and editor for Brazilian independent media outlets. I grew up in Porto Alegre and live in Toronto. In my free time, I talk and tweet about books, films, TV, memes, prison abolitionism, feminist theory, and Pierre Bourdieu. 

I wish​ to acknowledge the territory on which the University of Toronto operates, which is the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit River. This territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and Confederacy of the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island. I am grateful for the opportunity to live and work on this land.

Avenida Borges de Medeiros, Porto Alegre - RS. By Debora Fogliatto
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