Irma Hadzalic about „the economies of education“

Irma Hadzalic (Universität Luxemburg) spricht am Kolloquium für Berufs- und Wirtschaftspädagogik zum Thema:

„The Economies of Education: Steel and Iron Corpor(n)ations and the Emergence of the Modern Welfare in Luxembourg and Minas Gerais (ca. 1910-1960)“

Zeit & Ort:

13. März 2018,

12.15-13.45 Uhr,

Universität Zürich, KAB E 03, Kantonsschulstrasse 3, 8001 Zürich



Established in 1911, the steel company ARBED (Aciéries réunies de Burbach-Eich-Dudelange) became the Luxembourgian representative of economic and social progress at the beginning of the twentieth century. ARBED’s leaders introduced a series of social initiatives that served as a means of strengthening worker loyalty to the company, ensuring the workers’ productivity and thereby the company’s financial gain. ARBED’s socio-economic activities were not limited to the Grand Duchy, however. Right after the First World War, the company was in urgent need of global expansion. (Un)fortunate circumstances and political connections allowed ARBED to expand into the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais where, in 1921, they established the Companhia Siderúrgica Belgo-Mineira.
Along with their technical expertise, ARBED’s engineers brought Luxembourgian ideas of social welfare to the newly established company that eventually became the largest steel producer in Latin America. Against this background, and with the help of diverse textual and visual sources, this research firstly investigates the use of social initiatives as educational tools and ‘technologies of power’ in the process of creating a loyal, obedient, qualified, and productive workforce in Minas Gerais. Secondly, the research attempts to “break down” the master narrative revolving around uncriticized “endless” philanthropy of Luxembourgian engineers in Brazil, extensively present in the contemporary literature, while providing a critical analysis of archival documents and contemporary secondary sources. The concept of ‘corpornation’ – a sort of hybrid society established in Brazil by steel barons – will be introduced as the framework within which the above mentioned efforts of making the productive workforce will be addressed.