The role of oil: shaping the local future
Researcher: Caroline Elisabeth Inglingstad, master student
Photo: Caroline Elisabeth Inglingstad
The international demand for Brazilian products has given the major corporations global success and strengthened economic dreams of grandeza. Creating arenas for a globalized world to unfold in also creates new and unsuspected results. My focus will rely upon the energy producing institutions. More specifically, I will look into the petroleum related activities in the city of Macaé. Therefore, I shall explore the following question: In which way do petroleum activities affect the local life of people in Macaé, Brazil? The government has tried to regulate the gaps of inequality in Brazil by exploiting the Meu sonho de consumo (the dream of consumption) that people have, by lowering prices of consumer goods – like cars, so that people could get jobs further away. The oil and gas agencies in Macaé create possibilities and restrictions for people structurally differently positioned in relation to the wealth created by oil and gas activities.
Even though Macaé is one of the wealthiest cities in Brazil, not only in economy but in development statistics as well, there are some people who fall behind in the process. The comparison between the middleclass of the society and the less privileged will be a good starting point in the research to find out how the oil and gas activity is shaping the future for the people of Macaé.
 The economic greatness that have proven elusive in the past due to protectionism (Brainard & Martinez-Diaz 2009:1).