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From coffee to industry: Changes in migrants' characteristics in metropolitan areas in Brazil

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Duration: 0:23:27 | Added: 20 May 2016
Presenting his PhD research, Visiting Fellow Guilherme Ortega explores migrant characteristic in Campinas metropolitan area, Brazil

The overall aim of this work is to investigate the migratory processes of Campinas Metropolitan Area in Brazil and the flows and sociodemographic characteristics of migrants, in light of the different economic and political contexts through which Brazil has passed since the 1980s. The end of slavery in Brazil in 1888 enabled the creation of a rural labour market and altered the structure of mass consumption, thanks also to the rise of coffee exports. The accumulation of capital that proceeded from this export enabled investment in infrastructure and industry, particularly the textile and cotton industries. The end of slavery also marked the beginning of European immigration, by which those European migrants would later head for the city’s industries. The Brazilian metropolises emerged due to a tendency in countries such as Brazil, which have low investment in production, of concentrating industrial parks in a single region, seeking to take advantage of transportation infrastructure, public services, teaching institutions and an appropriately qualified workforce.

Between 1980 and 1985, thanks to the end of the Brazilian military dictatorship and the external capital inflows there was an intensification of industrial and urban growth in major centres. The cost of transport, land and services increased, and part of the industry was forced to abandon big centres like São Paulo – a process understood as ‘diseconomies of agglomeration’ – which enabled the development of new economies and agglomerations around the city. The processes of economic, social and political transformation provide us with the idea that internal and international migration processes were also influenced and changed, both in relation to flows and, particularly, in relation to the characteristics of these migrants, due to changes in the industrial process and in the labour market. Lastly we must recognise the influence of industrialisation and migration processes in the structuring of space, particularly within the cities of the metropolitan areas in Brazil in which residents lived in differing ways according to their varying financial resources With this in mind, we investigate the importance of migrant destination, i.e. the area in which they live within the metropolitan area, taking into account their sociodemographic characteristics, to explore the dynamics of labour relations.

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