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Mana

Print version ISSN 0104-9313

Abstract

LOPES, José Sergio Leite. Memória e transformação social: trabalhadores de cidades industriais. Mana [online]. 2011, vol.17, n.3, pp. 583-606. ISSN 0104-9313.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-93132011000300004.

The present article was originally presented as part of a class taught for an employment interview. It deals with the uses of the social anthropology of work at a moment in which a large number of workers, on an international level, are being rocked by ttransformations of their previously constructed collective identities. I argue that collective memory is an instrument for social transformation and that certain large transformations stimulate the demand for an objectified and transmittable memory. I also argue that memory itself changes over time in accordance with the demands of present-day disputes, becoming in certain circumstances and cohesive element or - inversely - an element that generates new social conflicts. I seek to show that the historical specificities of the workers' groups presented in the text can be understood as strategic for the advancement of knowledge by calling attention to certain configurations of collective will and of the impoderable facts of real life at the level of unforseen histgorical developments. Here I compare industrial workers in the sugar industry with textile workers, according to their differing conceptions of history. I show how an ethnography of the longue dureé of textile workers can be appropriated by the workers themsselves via the construction of a visual anthropological experiment.

Keywords : Social demand for objectified collective memory; Hypothesis of the transformative tradition; The decline of the working class and injcorporated history; Disputes over memory and industrial patrimony.

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