Manufacturing Militance: Workers' Movements in Brazil and South Africa, 1970-1985

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University of California Press, May 5, 1994 - History - 376 pages
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Challenging prevailing theories of development and labor, Gay Seidman's controversial study explores how highly politicized labor movements could arise simultaneously in Brazil and South Africa, two starkly different societies. Beginning with the 1960s, Seidman shows how both authoritarian states promoted specific rapid-industrialization strategies, in the process reshaping the working class and altering relationships between business and the state. When economic growth slowed in the 1970s, workers in these countries challenged social and political repression; by the mid-1980s, they had become major voices in the transition from authoritarian rule.

Based in factories and working-class communities, these movements enjoyed broad support as they fought for improved social services, land reform, expanding electoral participation, and racial integration.

In Brazil, Seidman takes us from the shopfloor, where disenfranchized workers organized for better wages and working conditions, to the strikes and protests that spread to local communities. Similar demands for radical change emerged in South Africa, where community groups in black townships joined organized labor in a challenge to minority rule that linked class consciousness to racial oppression. Seidman details the complex dynamics of these militant movements and develops a broad analysis of how newly industrializing countries shape the opportunities for labor to express demands. Her work will be welcomed by those interested in labor studies, social theory, and the politics of newly industrializing regions.
 

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Contents

Militant Labor Movements in Brazil and South Africa
15
HISTORICAL DIFFERENCES
20
PATTERNS OF MOBILIZATION
29
A COMPARATIVE PUZZLE
41
Conditions for Industrial Growth 19601973
43
BRAZILIAN INDUSTRIALIZATION STRATEGIES
48
INDUSTRIALIZATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
69
CONCLUSION
89
LABOR MILITANCE IN BRAZIL AND SOUTH AFRICA
193
Community Struggles and the Redefinition of Citizenship
197
O POVO EM MOVIMENTO
203
COMMUNITY RACE AND CLASS
227
CONCLUSION
252
Conclusion
255
EXPLAINING SIMILAR DYNAMICS
258
MILITANT WORKERS MOVEMENTS IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
264

Business Opposition and Its Limits
91
BUSINESS OPPOSITION IN SOUTH AFRICA
114
CONCLUSION
139
The Emergence of New Unionism
143
Máquinas Paradas e Braços Cruzados
150
THE SPIRIT LIVES
171
LABOR MOVEMENTS IN LATE INDUSTRIALIZERS
272
Notes
275
Bibliography
315
Index
351
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About the author (1994)

Gay Seidman is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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