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Accepted Paper:

The financial crisis: a view from a Brazilian barrio  
Massimiliano Mollona (University of Bologna)

Paper long abstract:

The paper discusses the impact of the financial crisis on some residents of Primavera, a favela of Volta Redonda, a steel town funded by President Vargas in 1930s around the Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) the symbol of Brazil's industrialisation. Some of the residents described in the paper are workers of the CSN - the biggest steel plant in Latin America - some are informal or illegal workers and others are unemployed. On the one hand the micro-politics of the barrio insulated its residents from the worst effects of the financial crisis. On the other hand, the crisis highlighted and expanded local stratifications. Through in-depth neighbourhood and shopfloor ethnography, the paper highlights the links between poverty, industrialisation and social stratification and questions the very notion of capitalist crisis. Rather than challenging capitalism, the financial crisis de facto reinforced the power of the Brazilian state, of the main national industries - such as the CSN - and of traditional elites.

Panel IW001
Class, crisis and anthropology: the place of class in understanding the discipline and the world
  Session 1