Dados vol. 25 n. 1 Rio de Janeiro 1982

Ação Coletiva e Participação Política do Pequeno e Médio Empresário

Vianna, Maria Lucia Werneck; Salinas, Julio Abulafia


This paper seeks to explain the emerging organization of small ad middle-sized businessmen in non-official representative entities. The authors first present a theoretical discussion of the pluralist and the utilitarian approaches regarding the logic of collective action, pointing out its shortcomings for understanding a situation, such as Brazil's, in which government has already defined the organizational space available for organized interests as well as their channels of access to the decisional apparatus. Consequently, the rise of non-official business organizations indicates the peculiarities of small and middle-sized businessmen's political participation and the new possibilities opened up by Brazil's changing political situation for the creation of alternative channels of access to government. Interviews conducted with leaders and members of small businessmen's associations detected both a substantial ideological diversity and a core of common demands and expectations which lie at the heart of their mobilization efforts. In spite of the fact that there prevails an immediatist and pragmatic vision of the small businessmen's problems, reducing political action to corporatist petitioning, the associations' collective action is also geared to the search of an identity of its own.

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Ação Coletiva e Participação Política do Pequeno e Médio Empresário