Migration and the Making of Industrial São Paulo
Paulo Fontes is Associate Professor, School of Social Sciences (CPDOC) Fundação Getulio Vargas – Rio de Janeiro; a researcher at the Brazilian Council of Research and Development (CNPq); and the coeditor of The Country of Football: Politics, Popular Culture, and the Beautiful Game in Brazil.
Barbara Weinstein is Silver Professor of History at New York University and the author of The Color of Modernity: São Paulo and the Making of Race and Nation in Brazil, also published by Duke University Press.
A Cardboard Suitcase and a Backpack: Northeastern Migrations to São Paulo in the 1950s
This chapter seeks to highlight the general importance of internal migration to the formation of the working class in São Paulo, Brazil, after the Second World War. In dialogue with specialized literature and primary sources, the chapter explores the internal migration of workers from the countryside in the context of São Paulo’s accelerated industrialization of the 1950s and 1960s, when companies had an intense need for manual labor. In addition to economic and demographic factors, the chapter highlights the agency of, and the strategies chosen by, the migrants in this process, as well as how gender relations influenced different experiences of migration between men and women. Finally, it seeks to demonstrate how the presence and the action of migrants were basic to the debate of the “Northeastern question” and to the creation of a political and cultural imagination about the Brazilian Northeast and about Northeasterners in São Paulo.