Dr Fernandes' research is concentrated in the role of stigma and social representations on practitioner practices and “institutional attitudes”, with particular focus on the tensions among socio-spatial inequalities, urban violence and stigmatization.
Within this there is a particular focus on how social policies reproduce stigmatising practices and strategies of socio-spatial control and enclosure of the “undesirable” groups in response to the social transformations observed in the contemporary cities under the neoliberal agenda. A better understanding these processes is needed to develop positive alternatives in partnership with governments and civil society.
Dr Fernandes' research has empirical focus in Brazil, where strong socio-spatial inequalities and stigmatisation of the favelas are factors that reinforce urban marginality and the criminalization of the poor. Recently he has been exploring how the conceptual framework of his research in Brazil applies in international level. This research has strong interdisciplinary approach in exchange with Anthropology, Sociology, Education, Social work and Community Learning Development and more recently have been explorations of connections with health related disciplines to connect with health inequalities.
Also of interest is the role of civic engagement on the promotion of the “right to the city” which pays special attention to anti-stigma agency and collaborative approaches involving multi-sector partnerships. Also of interest is the range of actions addressed to reduce urban inequalities by the empowerment of the most stigmatised and marginalised groups in the city, making them more aware and capable to influence social policy design and implementation.
Potential PhD Project :
The role of stigma and socio-symbolic marginality on poverty and deprivation cycles
Proposals are welcome for projects which look at the relation between stigmatisation and inequality, but preferably linking the wider inequality debate within the youth and the way they experience the life in the city. Any proposal would connect with wider research on violence and stigmatisation.