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The conflict of housework at the home: a view over bourgeois houses at 1950s São Paulo

Grant number: 18/12757-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2018
Effective date (End): October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Fundamentals of Architecture and Urbanism
Principal Investigator:Joana Mello de Carvalho e Silva
Grantee:Camila Medeiros de Oliveira Santos
Host Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The formation of the bourgeoisie as a class in the passing of the XIX to the XX century is a process that evoked deep chances, being those political, economic or social. In this period, the modern forms of sociability were cemented, shaped by the differentiation of the public and private universes. Especially in the urban field, the city and the house were a strong expression of this process, unfolding the bourgeois values being wrought in this moment. Over the home were forged the ideals of domesticity, in which women had a fundamental role, not only as the reproducer of the Family unit, but also, under the perspective of the construction of a narrative, as the main diffuser of the new values of modernity. Femininity was associated with the intimate and familiar spectrum, being distanced from the work world, at the same time, naturalizing the housework as a feminine role. Thus, was placed the contradiction inherent to the home of the presence and denial of labor. The house will be the place of conflict between a private universe to which the public is intrinsic. Housework will suffer a series of actions with the purpose of being made invisible, trough material and immaterial mechanisms, architectonic or symbolic, and, to be adequate to this process as a hole, the feminine body will be disciplined. The house presents itself, therefore, as a reflection and instrument of modernity as it is modified by the changes led by the formation of the bourgeoisie class, but also as a prime mean of transmission of these dominant ideary, creating a scenery in which the new standards of consumption, the specialization and rationalization and higienists policies are preponderant. This Research claims the origins of these transformations in the passing of the XIX to the XX century so they can be observed with more strength and hardness in the mid XIX century. Thus, the research is placed at the city of São Paulo, specifically at the 1950 decade, and intends to approach questions reference to the women role at home, searching in architecture indications of these changes. Therefore, a critical review of the existent literature and an analysis of the Acropole and O Cruzeiro magazines, looking to observe the building documents of the time as the propaganda and pictures of these homes, with a specific glance to decoration. Thus, through this understanding, the research will aim at comprehending which are the manifestations of the conflict made by the intrinsic presence of the work and deletion of the these work at the home and how these mechanisms are constructed to solve it, process in which the material and immaterial borders are essential elements. Besides that, there is an effort to make differentiations of the women's class so that not only the housewife figure be present but also the working class women, in the figure of the domestic maid. That being, the research seeks the understanding of what are the differences of the body discipline mechanisms between theses women and how a same architecture can contribute in such way, through the physical and symbolic boundaries the act in the sense of invisibilization of labor. Therefore, this Research intends to unveil questions that so far does not seem to have been made by the existing literature. There is considerable reflection over the theme of domesticity e rationalization the home, however, the association between feminine body, housework and architecture and has not been very exploited, providing relevance to the questions here made.

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