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
Barbara Weinstein is Silver Professor of History at New York University and the author of
Land of the Northeasterners: Migration, Urbanization, and Factory Work in São Miguel Paulista
This chapter approaches the history of the neighborhood of São Miguel Paulista in the context of São Paulo’s rapid industrialization and urbanization. São Miguel was transformed by the establishment of Companhia Nitro Química Brasileira there in 1935, and became the fastest-growing area of the city by the 1950s. Although immersed in the peripheral pattern of urban growth dominant in São Paulo during this period, São Miguel was different from other suburbs that were widely considered to be bedroom communities. This chapter explores how the presence of a large industrial company employing most of the local workforce created unusual conditions for the formation of a working-class community.