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Women, social hygiene and vagrancy in São Paulo: female slaves, female slaves being freed, freed women and free women (1850 - 1900)

Grant number: 19/08170-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2019
Effective date (End): October 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Principal Investigator:Maria Helena Pereira Toledo Machado
Grantee:Caroline da Silva Mariano
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

From 1850 on, we can watch the emergence of a discourse aiming at the promotion of a new model of womanhood, which has its origins in medical approaches. There is the creation of a moralist representation of the woman, in which she combines the roles of wife, mother and housekeeper. If in the beginning, these behavioral patterns were aimed at women from ruling classes, these patterns were gradually imposed on lower classes, with emphasis to hygiene, bourgeois honor and chastity. However, when referring to poor, foreign and Brazilian, white and non-white, enslaved, free, being freed and freed women, the bourgeois morality's representations seem not to be applicable: these women performed key functions in the distribution of foodstuffs, domestic services and other unstable, socially marginalized and less profitable services. In the scope of this research, we aim at seeing the penetration of discourses and medical/moral prescriptions from a scientism rationale on women in the daily life of poor, enslaved, being freed and freed women in 1800s São Paulo. Through criminal processes dated between 1850 and 1900, our proposal is to observe how police authorities mobilize female morality discourses, as well as the women themselves, if they victims or defendants. (AU)