This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume which is about the violence and masculinity of free poor men in Ceará, Brazil, during the period from 1845 to 1889. This volume explores interpersonal violence in criminal court cases, popular poetry, and contemporary novels and analyzes the importance of honor in a variety of social practices. It also investigates the impact of the transformation of material conditions on gender politics and the impact of centralized criminal justice system on the violent contests for masculine authority.
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