Title: Cooperatives as tools of resistance of catadores in São Paulo, Brazil
The talk will be followed by a commentary by Professor Manuel Rosaldo (Assistant Professor of Labor and Employment Relations at Pennsylvania State University).
Abstract: This research proposes investigating how waste-pickers resist violence, both chronic and structural, in their workspace and how and why being part of a bottom-up cooperative impacts waste-pickers (catadores) strategies of resistance. There is no clear answer in the literature for this puzzle, which will be this project's main contribution. For this analysis, I will use the concept of resistance – individual or collective strategies from low-income and marginalized people aimed to guarantee survival, promote contextual adjustment and/or bring positive structural transformations (Mayer 2021)– to identify the overt and covert repertoire of strategies used by waste-pickers to cope with chronic and structural violence and maintain access to their source of livelihood. Based on Millar's (2018) and Rosaldo's (2020) work, I argue that bottom-up cooperatives, created by waste-pickers, are a crucial tool to help waste-pickers develop successful strategies of resistance, as these bottom-up cooperatives increase waste-pickers negotiation power when dealing with governments and buyers of recycled materials (Millar 2018, Rosaldo 2020). I will consider a resistance strategy as "successful" when it allows waste-pickers, individually or collectively, to circumvent oppressive policies as well as state and superordinate actors' actions of structural and workplace chronic violence. I conducted 13 interviews online with 9 different waste-pickers, from 5 bottom-up cooperatives. My initial findings revealed five different resistance strategies used by waste-pickers to resist violence: organization, mobilization, reframing, negotiation, and confrontation.
About the speaker:
Gustavo Henrique de Andrade is a Master student in Political Science at Concordia University. Gustavo also holds a B.A. in Public Administration from Fundação João Pinheiro and a B.A. in Physics from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. His work focuses on informal work with an emphasis on resistance in Latin America.
The talk will be hybrid, both in person and on zoom