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The professional education in construction and large-scale housing production in Brazil: conformations and counterpoints

Grant number: 14/20986-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2015
Effective date (End): November 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Architecture and Urbanism Technology
Principal Investigator:Lucia Zanin Shimbo
Grantee:Camila Mendonça Garcia
Host Institution: Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo de São Carlos (IAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Since the 2000s, Brazil has been experiencing a noticeable increase in the activities of construction, due to macroeconomic stabilization, implementation of public programs of funding for infraestructure and housing, reduction of interest rates and other factors. In this context, there was a significant increase in housing construction share in the total industry activities. The real estate and financial capital began to fill an important role in housing production, large private construction companies were able to benefit from public incentive programs and expand their markets. The increase in the activities of construction bumps into the historical issue of professional education of the workers. Generally, it occurs more expressively through the practice of labour in the construction site, and does not include a wider theoretical contextualization, neither considerates the social or environmental impacts of construction activities. There are professional qualification iniciatives, whether promoted by class representative associations, public organs, private agencies wich respond more directely to market demand; and also there are experiences that intend to combine professional education, technological transference and social development. However both iniciatives are still insuficient to qualify the great contingent of workers in the labour Market and poorly studied in the bibliography. The present project aims to contribute to this debate and has as its main goal to identify and to characterize recent professional education iniciatives of construction workers from these two different perspectives: one in agreement with the large scale housing production logic promoted by big companies in Brazil, here called "conformation". Representing a "counterpoint" to this more companies related perspective, the project also aims to investigate the existence of other iniciatives, nacional or international, that intend to combine especific technical knowledge’s to a more wider and critical education. Therefore, seeks to evaluate wich aspects of both could contribute to the upgrading of professional education on construction in Brazil. As a methodological strategy, it will be used qualitative research, resorting three different and combined procedures: bibliographic research, documental research and field research in construction site and professional qualification institutions.

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