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Cooperatives as tools of resistance of catadores in São Paulo, Brazil


Cooperatives as tools of resistance of catadores in São Paulo, Brazil

de Andrade, Gustavo Henrique (2022) Cooperatives as tools of resistance of catadores in São Paulo, Brazil. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Catadores are crucial actors in the solid waste management and recycling systems in the Global South. They collect, bundle, and sell materials recovered from waste in the informal and formal markets. However, waste-pickers are still marginalized and held in a disadvantageous social and economic position. I proposed to investigate how waste-pickers resist chronic and structural violence in their workspace and how and why being part of a bottom-up cooperative impacts waste-pickers strategies of resistance. I also argue that the mere integration of top-down or bottom-up MBOs in the formal waste management system is not enough to improve the livelihood of this marginalized group. I used online interviews and observations, employing digital communication and social media platforms to engage with waste-pickers in São Paulo through open-ended interviews using the chain referral sampling method. My findings indicate that the primary source of chronic workplace violence happens through financial violence perpetrated by buyers of recyclable materials and that organizing into bottom-up cooperatives and mobilization of bottom-up cooperatives and associations in networks has been two critical strategies to mitigate its effects. Through bottom-up cooperatives and associations, and networks of bottom-up cooperatives and associations, they have been able to sell their materials at higher prices, avoiding ferros-velhos, and, consequently, improving their income. Bottom-up cooperatives and associations have also allowed waste-pickers to successfully reframe themselves as workers and environmental agents to resist psychological violence perpetrated by the population. These findings represent a significant theoretical contribution by identifying waste-pickers everyday resistance strategies not present in the literature.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Political Science
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:de Andrade, Gustavo Henrique
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Political Science
Date:20 September 2022
Thesis Supervisor(s):Mayer, Jean François
Keywords:catadores, waste-pickers, waste, resistance, violence, everyday resistance
ID Code:991225
Deposited By: Gustavo Henrique De Andrade
Deposited On:21 Jun 2023 14:16
Last Modified:21 Jun 2023 14:16


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