Print version ISSN 1517-4522
OLIVEIRA, Ricardo Costa de. Families, power, and wealth: political networks in the state of Paraná in 2007. Sociologias [online]. 2007, n.18, pp. 150-169. ISSN 1517-4522. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-45222007000200008.
The structure of power is not an abstraction; it is materialised in objective situations of possession of wealth, and is reproduced and consolidated thanks to political, social, and kinship networks. Networks of political power are defined in this article as connections of interest which basically involve businesspeople and political offices within the apparatus of the State, in the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary, as well as the other places of power seeking to secure advantages and privileges for their members. In addition to the ideology reinforcing their legitimacy, networks may use artifices like nepotism, clientelism and corruption. The state of Paraná is shown as an example of modernity and rationality, adhering to the values and practices of capitalism governed by the principles of impersonality and efficiency. This article will demonstrate that this is a myth by looking at the genealogy of the families currently holding power and wealth, but which have been associated to the dominant interests for nearly 300 years. Distinguished names in politics and the economy make up a urprising and intricate network of relations of family, kinship, and privilege that secures the structure of power in the most distinct economic and political scenarios.
Keywords : political power networks; dominant social network; dominant groups; genealogy of power.