Dados vol. 29 n. 1 Rio de Janeiro 1986

Heterogeneidade Estrutural e Consciência de Classe: O Dilema Teórico Metodológico

Carvalho, Rejane Maria Vasconcelos Accioly


This article focuses on the problems presented by Marxian-inspired models of political Analysis in passing from the more abstract theoretical level to the empirical study. As for the "dependent capitalist" countries, whose structural heterogeneity is generally acknowledged, even greater problems exist, since it is difficult to recognize the "fundamental classes" within the complex network of existing relations of production. Concurrently, a polemical discussion springs up around the concept of "marginal masses" and the nature of their insertion into the structure of dependent capitalist classes. The studies conducted identify "marginal workers" in contrast to those engaged in capitalist relations of production (the proletariat) and tend to mark the same contrast regarding their political conduct. With these considerations in mind, the author explores another theoretical vein: existing and potential links between "marginals" and "workers" in the light of the specific circumstances historically recorded in Brazil, where the boundaries that separate the "active" and "reserve" portions of the w9rking class are extremely elastic. The author hypothesizes that the tendency to super-exploit the labor force is expressed in a dual process: segmentation of labor relations in production terms and unification in reproduction terms whose costs must be borne by both the "active" and "reserve" sectors. The link in terms of reproduction has political overtones having to do with areas that receive little attention in classical political analyses (labor unions and political parties) and that merit investigation: the family space and the dwelling places - neighborhoods or shantytowns - where the working poor are concentrated.

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Heterogeneidade Estrutural e Consciência de Classe: O Dilema Teórico Metodológico