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Infamous mothers, fortunate offspring: women and children, labor and emancipation in São Paulo (Nineteenth Century)

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Marilia Bueno de Araujo Ariza
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Maria Helena Pereira Toledo Machado; Flavio dos Santos Gomes; Keila Grinberg; Beatriz Gallotti Mamigonian; Lilia Katri Moritz Schwarcz
Advisor: Maria Helena Pereira Toledo Machado

Based on the analysis of work contracts, newspaper articles and mainly judicial records produced at the Ohphans Court, this dissertation aims at discussing the conditions under which underage laborers were recruited in the city of São Paulo over the Nineteenth Century especially during its second half, when abolition and its developments approached. It focuses on the dimensions of such structural changes experienced by underage workers themselves, as well as by their mothers, mostly single, poor head-of-family women coming out of slavery. The dissertation intends to investigate the family arrangements and mothering practices adopted by such women, which were deeply impacted by the establishment of social norms enshrining the parameters of bourgeoisie motherhood. Faced with unattainable representations of the ideal maternity, impoverished women were characterized as unfit tutors to their own children, who thus were conducted to the care and services of third parties. Furthermore, the dissertation also focuses on the underage workers, who had historically been engaged in urban service provision and informal work arrangements in the city. In the face of social turmoil brought on by pressures on the advancement of emancipation and the aftermath of abolition, such workers were forced into formal service arrangements, which intended to keep them under control the of their employers or former masters. Between the worlds of labor formality and informality,) experiences of exploitation and violence were constant, and child workers acted upon them the best they could. At the same time as it discusses the specificities of the experiences lived by underage workers and their mother, however, this dissertation intends to link their histories to a broader context of elaboration of free labor protocols forged over the Nineteenth Century which, even in the dawn of abolition, mirrored forms of exploitation, domination and resistance bequeathed by slavery. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 12/20612-8 - Freedom Suits and social relations in the province of São Paulo in the last decades of slavery (1870-1888).
Grantee:Marilia Bueno de Araujo Ariza
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate