Print version ISSN 1517-4522
PALMA, Rogério da and TRUZZI, Oswaldo Mário Serra. Linkages between intimacy and labor: the social construction of a free labor market in coffee plantations of western São Paulo. Sociologias [online]. 2012, vol.14, n.30, pp. 224-251. ISSN 1517-4522. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-45222012000200008.
The post-abolition has been characterized, with regard to the experiences of former slaves and former masters, as a period of redefinition of social hierarchies. One of the most exciting subjects in this theme is certainly the issue of multiple meanings of freedom, and the various ways in which it was associated with other aspects of social reality. Taking as its focus the coffee producing region in the west of São Paulo in the early twentieth century, this article will argue that, within the dynamics of sociability formed by farmers/managers and black workers, there were underlying disputes about certain kinds of linkages between labor and intimacy, emphasizing that this connection was one of the keys to think about the freedom of those leaving slavery. Through the examination of a police inquiry of that time, it was noted that former slaves and their descendants were engaged in holding firm a free social status, which, in turn, demanded assigning meanings to a certain ideal of intimacy/privacy. Using concepts from economic sociology, we argue that, in the situation addressed, the conflicts over this dimension of freedom have gained fundamental relevance in the social process of creating a free labor market.
Keywords : Post-abolition; Economic Sociology; Labor market; Intimacy.