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Surveillance, control and technology: a study of the supermarket sector in São Paulo

Grant number: 16/18464-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2017
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Other specific Sociologies
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Marcos César Alvarez
Grantee:Leonardo Jose Ostronoff
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/26116-5 - The govern of conflict in the production of the contemporary city: the case of São Paulo, AP.TEM


The subject of this research is the possibility of formation of a control culture in contemporary society and its consequences in daily work. The purpose of this project is to conduct a research on control and surveillance systems in relation to the retail sector, more specifically in hypermarkets. Observing local stores of the three largest supermarket groups in Brazil in São Paulo: Carrefour, Multivarejo (Pão-de-Açúcar) and Wal- Mart, the question we try to answer is how surveillance is organized in workspaces. The criterion for selection was sales, number of stores and employees. In recent years these three major retail companies increased their investments in security and surveillance technologies. A lucrative market around the security systems was developed, emerging specialized companies that brought innovations in technology for retail. Some important companies in the technology industry are monitoring the Arius and Tyco Fire & Integrated Security, both working in Brazil. Through direct observation of surveillance systems is also possible to investigate the punishment systems created in-store. Thus, both the monitor and the punishment will be contemplated. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with customers, employees and executives of the stores management and logistics levels. The management manuals and working procedures of the three major companies selected will also be research sources. The use of quantitative data will produce a morphology of workers, customers and sector, working more descriptively. (AU)