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Brazil's Steel CityDevelopmentalism, Strategic Power, and Industrial Relations in Volta Redonda, 1941-1964$
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Oliver Dinius

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804771689

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804771689.001.0001

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State Paternalism in the Making of a Company Town

State Paternalism in the Making of a Company Town

Chapter:
(p.70) 3 State Paternalism in the Making of a Company Town
Source:
Brazil's Steel City
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804771689.003.0004

Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas envisioned Volta Redonda as the cornerstone of his ambition to start an industrial revolution in Brazil without violent class conflict. To this end, he provided the National Steel Company (Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional; CSN) with the political mandate, financial resources, and institutional power to engineer workers with technical skill, work discipline, and a commitment to social peace. The social engineering began with the physical construction of Volta Redonda and would continue long after construction of the steel mill had been completed. CSN management tried to shape the steelworkers' culture by resorting to paternalism, a strategy used in nineteenth-century Europe that combined coercion with welfare measures. This chapter explores the intellectual origins of state paternalism and how it was translated by CSN into social assistance programs to engineer a peaceful industrial community, the famìlia siderúrgica (steel family). It shows how the implicit social contract became an integral part of the local community's self-perception and assesses its impact on union discourse and demands in later years.

Keywords:   Getúlio Vargas, Volta Redonda, Brazil, paternalism, National Steel Company, social engineering, steel mill, social assistance, famìlia siderúrgica, steelworkers

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