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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.

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