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Released women between houses: daily life and domestic work in São Paulo (1880-1900)

Abstract

The research assembles the social experiences of Steve women, released and free descendants in São Paulo during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, in the social process of transition from slave work to freedom. In order to accomplished our aim, rummage into the books, subscriptions and free employment contracts, requirements established by municipal ordinances on "Maids and daughters", from 1886. The ensemble oi regulations was made in order to formalize the dollies and obligations for employers and free employees, in the context of hasty urban growth the advanced process of abolition and the immigration policy that led, to the main city, poor immigrants and unruly people. Migrants from provincial slavery region sand those slaveholders who provided slaves to an interprovincial trafficking, mainly free African born, were employed in elite and urban middle classes residences. We glimpse the survival strategies from poor and free agents of the housework registered by the police during the last years of the slave regime. Our research attempt reconstruct the daily life of several "jobs" that these free women have done in the new social order: the kitchen, washing and ironing clothes, cleaning the house, core and feeding children, traffic in the streets, the riverside and the tense environment of the houses. Reading between the lines of texts, it is possible to observe the existence of released women willing to improvise various ways of resistance of everyday oppression. (AU)

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