Revisiting the literature on Brazilian industrialists: dilemmas and controversies

Over the past five decades several different interpretative traditions have taken on the task of trying to explain the origin of industrialists in Brazil and to analyze their behavior pattern from a business perspective, as well as in response to the country's biggest political issues. Although this is a stimulating subject, considering the important role to be played by these social actors in weaving the fabric of capitalist modernization in 20th century Brazil, not much of substance has been written about it, in contrast with, for instance, research about the working class. This paper makes a brief assessment of what we believe to be one of the most significant among the possible variables for interpreting the experience of the industrialist class, which demands the complexity inherent to the topic as a counterpoint to the simplified generalization which is recurrent in most writings about this subject.

Industrialists; Social class; Business behavior; Brazilian industrialization

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