The Senses of Trade Unionism in Veja Magazine: a Study in Social Representations

Name: Guilherme Gustavo Holz Peroni
Type: MSc dissertation
Publication date: 09/07/2015

Namesort descending Role
Annor da Silva Junior Co-advisor *
Priscilla de Oliveira Martins da Silva Advisor *

Examining board:

Namesort descending Role
Annor da Silva Junior Co advisor *
Paulo Rogério Meira Menandro External Examiner *
Priscilla de Oliveira Martins da Silva Advisor *
Zeidi Araujo Trindade External Examiner *

Summary: Trade union is an organization, which defends the rights and interests of workers. Unionism in Brazil was present at important historical moments of the country, such as in the Vargas coup, the military coup of 1964 and the movement of democratization and the so-called Diretas já (Direct Elections Now) movement. (BOITO JR, 2005). Thus, it is essential to analyze the historical, social, political and economic context in all its magnitude to understand the transformations of labor relations and the Brazilian trade union movement. There are several ways of unionism circulating within an organization and, similarly, in Brazilian society. Moreover, the media, integrated and attentive to the political, social and economic context, also builds and spreads meanings and values of trade unionism. Therefore, the present study aims to analyze the senses about the disseminated unionism in Veja magazine, the following historical periods: military dictatorship (1968-1985); 4th Republic or re-democratization (1985-1990); Globalization and Neoliberalism (1990- 2002); the Lula era and the present time (2003-2013). The choice of Veja magazine as a source of research is justified by its permanence, continuity and representation in the Brazilian context. The Theory of Social Representations was adopted as the basis for analysis. The methodological design was a qualitative approach. Desk research was carried out, WHERE data collection strategy was used to consult the journalistic texts. 161 editions of Veja magazine were surveyed and 331 articles were selected for analysis. The collected data was sorted into 46 categories of analysis, which were later organized into 12 themes. The results indicated a plurality of senses disseminated by Veja magazine on trade unionism. During the military dictatorship, the labor relations of the time were considered as a factor in the resurgence of trade union struggle and the strengthening of trade unionism, and in turn, led to conflicts between the government and unions. The new unionism emerged during the military dictatorship with a radical and leftist stance and was strongly opposed by the dictatorial government, however, were inserted positively in a number of important entities and subject to political reopening and the implementation and development of democracy in Brazil. With the neoliberal movement, labor relations have been reported as a factor of union crisis. The unions, in some cases, had to accept the salary reduction for maintenance of employment. From that period on, there was an intensification of negative meanings attributed to labor unions nowadays, as peleguismo, union support for the government, abandoning the interests of the base, illegal funding of political candidates, corruption and corporatism. The spread of the new unionism and unionism today was mainly associated with the figure of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Finally, it is believed that the analysis of the data, by using the theoretical framework of the RS and specifically the anchoring concepts and objectification, brought and insight into the history of trade unionism and in its meanings and senses.

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