The battle for goods: Consumption in Anna Muylaert’s The Second Mother

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This article discusses how Anna Muylaert’s film Que horas ela volta? [The Second Mother] represents shifts in Brazilian society tied to governmental actions that stimulated consumption as a path toward social inclusion. The article focuses on the depictions of four commodities in the film, around which symbolic battles for the right to consume, and, ultimately, to access citizen rights, take place among characters. The article shows that, by depicting the biographies of these commodities (Kopytoff 83), the film portrays a story of the social hierarchies that characterize Brazilian society, while constructing a narrative of a hopeful future of less social inequality that also recognizes some of the challenges ahead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-148
Number of pages13
JournalRomance Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020


  • Anna Muylaert
  • Consumption
  • citizenship
  • household worker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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