Accepted paper:

Deindustrialization in São Paulo and the creation of a new precarious working class

Author:

Jesse Souza (Federal university of são paulo (ABC))

Paper short abstract:

The paper aims to address the issue of the constitution of a precarious working class in contemporary Brazil - with a focus on the city of São Paulo - as a result of the ongoing process of deindustrialization.

Paper long abstract:

The paper aims to address the issue of the constitution of a precarious working class in contemporary Brazil - with a focus on the city of São Paulo - as a result of the ongoing process of deindustrialization. There is a growing scholarly consensus that Brazil is experiencing deindustrialization, yet most scholarship has focused on the national political economy. As a result, the impact of deindustrialization in cities has been neglected. In this paper I argue that deindustrialization in Brazil has had two significant consequences. First, after years of decreasing - particularly during Lula's presidency - inequality has once again begun to increase. Second, we are witnessing the emergence of a qualitatively new type of inequality, which is often obscured by the fact that many of the retrenched workers perceive themselves as petty entrepreneurs. This paper has three sections. First, I review contemporary politics in Brazil and I narrate deindustrialization in São Paulo. Second, I show how this has had qualitative and quantitative impacts on inequality. Finally, I show how the changing perception of inequality influences popular movements and their relation to contemporary politics. I conclude by speculating on the lasting influence of deindustrialization on Brazilian society and politics.

panel K03
Deindustrialisation in the Global South: inequality, work and urban transformation (Paper)