By Verena Stolcke
A mixture of background and anthropology, examining the transition from slavery to sharecropping and from sharecropping to wage-labour within the espresso plantations of Sao Paulo. It makes an attempt to elucidate either empirically and theoretically a number of the concerns within the debate over rural proletarization. This examine emphasizes the standard kinds of the agricultural employees resistance to exploitation. moreover it addresses the topic of ladies staff and women's subordination. Verena Stolcke is writer of "Marriage, type and color in nineteenth Century Cuba" and "The magazine of Peasant Studies".
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Additional info for Coffee Planters, Workers and Wives: Class Conflict and Gender Relations on São Paulo Plantations, 1850–1980
72 On the other hand, the 1879 law was largely ineffective and even counter-productive. As Antonio Prado, one of the most prominent SAo Paulo planters, noted, immigrants in jail were neither repaying the planters' loans nor harvesting their coffee, and in addition the law only served to discredit Brazilian colonisation in Europe. 4 The way out of this dilemma and the essence of the SAo Paulo immigration system, was explained by another member of the Chamber of Deputies shortly after abolition: 'it is evident', he said, 'that we need labourers ...
96 From the beginning the relations between planters and free labourers were fraught with rather explicit tensions. Even had the planters desired to establish paternalistic relations of personal dependence - and the point is arguable - a number of factors limited the ready use of such mechanisms. Not only were sao Paulo plantations large, but the work force was both new and foreign born, thus depriving the planters of many of the traditional sanctions religious and otherwise - which rural ruling classes have often enjoyed.
Botelho, the sao Paulo Secretary of Agriculture, for example, early in the century called for the granting of land ownership to immigrants: 'We must settle the immigrants on the soil ... 33 But planters continued to be sceptical as to whether they could rely on smallholders being available for work on the plantations when they needed them. 34 Moreover, the colonato system had proved an extraordinary success not only because it constituted a very efficient form of surplus labour appropriation but also because it allowed flexibility when the market deteriorated and prices declined.