Without makeup: the work of a million cosmetics dealers


In her first book, sociologist Ludmila Costhek Abílio, a professor at PUC-Campinas, investigates the work of cosmetic resellers in the Brazilian beauty industry. The starting point of this innovative study is an army of approximately 1 million resellers (equivalent to the population of the city of Campinas-SP), responsible for the commercial success of one of the most important and recognized cosmetics companies in the country, Natura. Anchored in a rich field study, the researcher proposes an original approach to informal women's work within a segment called the Direct Sales System.

In addition to analyzing aspects of production and distribution of the company and the informal economy, the author traces the socioeconomic profile of the resellers, their motivations and how they relate to work and the company. For this, he interviewed from cleaning women to senior executives, to teachers, housewives and even a delegate from the Federal Police, who sells cosmetics in the corporation's own building.

At the end of the research, Ludmila found a certain ambiguity in the relationship of these women with the company, since they begin to sell their products in order to consume them. He also realized that in this dynamic of work, the employer transfers the risks to the resellers, such as customer default, without giving them a guarantee of income, while encouraging them to invest in stocks that may never be sold.

Within the context that makes resellers become lively advertising for products, their personal social capital becomes a means to leverage the company's profits; one of the central points of the discussion raised by the sociologist concerns the indistinities between working and non-working time, the current forms of subjective worker involvement. This blurring of the boundaries between production and consumption, inseparable from social and cultural influences, is a new phenomenon, as is the loss of the centrality of work.

Source: Carta Maior Portal

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