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2022 | Book

Brazilian Geography

In Theory and in the Streets

Editors: Rubén C. Lois González, Marco Antonio Mitidiero Junior

Publisher: Springer Nature Singapore

Book Series : Advances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences


About this book

This book presents the history and theoretical contributions of Brazilian geography since the late twentieth century and shows how this sphere of knowledge has been organically integrated with social and territorial issues and with social movements. The relationship between the subjects and objects of research in Brazilian geography has been centred on the understanding and transformation of realities marked by injustice and inequality. Against this backdrop, the geography of the country has developed by integrating, relating to, and forming part of those realities as it headed out into the streets. Brazilian geography continues to hold theoretical debate in high regard as a result of the influence of critical theory. This book thus covers the theoretical approaches in Brazilian geography, its different lines of research, and above all its character as manifested in culture and society.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction
Rubén C. Lois-González, Marco Antonio Mitidiero Junior

Theoretical Contributions and Challenges for Brazilian Geography

Chapter 2. Critical Geography: From the Office to the Streets
In the 1970s, with the approach of the theoretical contribution of the social sciences, Brazilian Geography consolidated the discourse of a critical geography, defending the renewal of an epistemological model based on Marxist approaches, emphasizing the concept of space as a central analytical geographical category, to give rise to a New Geography which revealed itself as a symptom of the crisis: the crisis of teaching and of research; the crisis of university; the sociopolitical crisis. The commitment to renewal arose in the context of the discontent of geographers who voiced criticisms/complaints against the hegemonic discourse of theoretical geography. We highlight that its theoretical foundations were solidified in a Marxist-structuralist perspective. In the writings of that time, we observe the absence of the fundamental principles of the ontology of social being as a structuring of the interpretation of the objective reality. In Brazil, almost 50 years after that movement, a chorus of voices rang out in defense of critical geography in a historical context of tension and the militarization of society. The crisis marked a period of confinement for bodies and minds. Reacting became a necessity, which materialized in the Association of Brazilian Geographers (AGB).This has become the focus of geography’s discourse with society, which headed out onto the streets once and for all, even with the passing of the years, particularly in the nineties, with the clash of theoretical and epistemological differences, from the critics of the critics, and even from some of its formulators. This argument is supported by our analysis, because we understand that, in terms of mediation, space is the place and medium of social practice (of the reproduction of relationships of production), from which and within which geographers expect to unveil their contradictions and constitute strategies and political instruments, where the street is the concrete objective reality of knowing how to think/change and give meaning and significance to geography(ies).
Alexandrina Luz Conceição, Sócrates Menezes
Chapter 3. Far Beyond the ‘Natural Environment’: Geography at the Crossroads of the Capitalocene
The ‘Anthropocene’ has become a fad: it is difficult these days, in the academic milieu, not to come across allusions to this new geological era in books, papers and conferences. However, as several authors have already acknowledged, it would be unfair and ideological to hold humanity as a whole (i.e. the anthropos) generally responsible for the ecological-social evils that the planet is increasingly suffering. It is necessary to recognise that capitalism, due to its very economic dynamics, is behind the ‘Great Acceleration’ in terms of consumption, the use of resources and environmental degradation that can be observed since the middle of the twentieth century. This is the reason why ‘Capitalocene’ has been suggested as a terminological alternative. As far as the crucial debate about the ‘Capitalocene’ and its challenges is concerned, geographers are still more ‘supporting actors’ than ‘protagonists.’ To a large extent, this has to do with the ‘epistemological purification’ strategy that many of us have pursued since the 1970s, in the wake of the discipline’s radical turn. The weakening of the discipline’s identity nucleus with regard to a commitment to the integration of natural and social knowledge led to a decrease in the ability to propose several types of reflections and research related to the ‘(ecological-)social metabolism,’ the planetary dilemmas and the contemporary ecosocial conflicts, as well as a whole series of specific issues and problems—all things that require, to a greater or lesser extent, the construction of hybrid epistemic objects. In the last fifteen years, the emergence of a certain environmental geography has increased the hope that many radical geographers have finally begun to understand that in order to preserve a high level of sophistication and coherence from the point of view of social research, it is not necessary to give up a genuine interest in geobiophysical knowledge.
Marcelo Lopes de Souza
Chapter 4. Brazilian Geography and the Study of Territorial Formation
The formation of Brazilian society is inextricably linked to the territorial formation of Brazil, recognising the logic of Iberian colonisation and its subordinate placement in the international division of labour which, since as far back as the sixteenth century, has resulted in systematic colonisation which expropriated the original populations, transferred and subjected African ethnic groups to slave labour and established itself as an exporter of agricultural and mineral products. The process of territorial formation has led to an expansion towards the interior, with immense destruction of forests, ethnocides and wars against the indigenous peoples. Brazilian Geography was established as an important aspect in supporting the processes of colonial domination by producing knowledge about the territory, the native populations and nature. This vast knowledge of the territory was achieved through scientific expeditions, geographical societies and military institutions between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries and, subsequently, by university institutions and research and planning institutes. This article seeks to unravel the role of geography as a body of knowledge and as a scientific discipline in the territorial and social formation of Brazil, setting out the contradictions in the process by proposing that the violence was not only material, but also symbolic and epistemological, expressed in a range of social conflicts as a result of the colonial logic of territorial appropriation. Finally, it seeks to elucidate the social conflicts in the formation of the territory and covered by geographical discourses and ideologies present in a range of types of literature, such as the school geography literature which treated Brazil as a peaceful, idyllic and paradisiacal country.
Manoel Fernandes de Sousa Neto
Chapter 5. Man is His Being in the World. Geography and Geographicity
Man is an autopoietic being. A self-made being. However, he does not do it based on will, but because self-production is necessary. He does it himself, but within the possibilities of history. And this requires will, but also constant action and the capacity to materially organise his act of will. Here is where spatiotemporal conditionality comes in. Man does not construct himself without an act of will, but will is not sufficient if the objective reality does not allow for the possibility. This makes him the subject and the object of himself. To be this, you must construct yourself. And to construct, you need the means of construction. The supposition is the man-nature relationship. This is what location imposes. There, man makes space and space makes man. Self-construction is a geographical construction.
Ruy Moreira
Chapter 6. Physical Geography and the Study of Environmental Problems: The Brazilian Contribution
This text aims to discuss research into physical geography in Brazil, taking as a reference the transformations of Brazilian geography, especially since the 1970s. Since then, important aspects have been seen in the transformation of physical geography: the rift with geography from the classical viewpoint in some sectors and the adherence to systemic analysis—a branch of analysis related to the study of nature, in its specificities—for the environmental issue, an environmental analysis from the perspective of managing territory on different scales. In this context, there is a wide range of sub-fields and topics engaged in research related to physical geography, studies of nature in its specificity, studies of environmental impacts (understood as impacts on nature), and proposals related to diagnosis and monitoring, based on spatial analysis (GIS) and model building. Within the critical social approach, Porto Gonçalves (Porto-Gonçalves CW (1989) Os (des)caminhos do Meio Ambiente. Contexto, São Paulo, 147 p) stands out as the precursor to the discussion of the environment in Brazilian geography; followed by the analyses of (Mendonça, São Paulo 1:113–132, 2001) identified as socio-environmental geography; the proposed re-signification by (Suertegaray, Espaço Geográfico Uno e Múltiplo. Scripta Nova, Barcelona, n. 93, 2001) of the concept of environment; and the proposed new geographic approach from Souza, which can be identified as environmental geography. Within the environmental issue, the critical perspective highlights the analysis of social processes and the commercial exploitation of nature, especially through the demands of an economically globalised world. Sometimes, it takes the concept of “production of nature” as a reference. More recently, these analyses have incorporated a dialogue with territorial conflicts on their different scales. The new approaches are structured around an environmental concept associated with social (environmental) justice and the dispute for territory, especially between the major investors (agribusiness, among others) and native and traditional populations. This range of approaches broadly expresses the production of contemporary Brazilian geography.
Dirce Maria Antunes Suertegaray
Chapter 7. The Study of Cities in Brazilian Geography
Urban geography is undoubtedly one of the most important subdisciplines of Brazilian geography: first, because it is a pioneer on the topic: a text on urban geography was found in a publication by an author from Bahia in 1913! second, because of the volume of production: in the surveys conducted by Mauricio Abreu in 1989, the author managed to count some 1000 titles; and third, because of the prominence of the authors who have been involved in the topic, from Josué de Castro in the 1940s, Milton Santos since the 1950s, Pedro Geiger in the 1960s, and Aldo Paviani, Maria Adélia de Souza, Mauricio Abreu and Roberto Lobato Correa in the 1980s. It is important to stress the continuity of the publications of Milton Santos abroad, which had an international impact. 1989 saw the start of the biennial National Symposia on Urban Geography (Simpurbs), which in addition to bringing together researchers from the entire country with an interest in the topic, gave rise to the publication of annals, journals, and books, which comprise a record of the main production over the course 30 years. At the same time, the Urban Studies Group was created, which began to publish the Cidades journal in 2004, as well as two books. With the annual meeting of the Urban Geography Commission of the IGU, held in Salvador in 2017, a process of expanding the participation in international events began. The production of this chapter will be supported by Mauricio Abreu’s 1989 article, my book Dois séculos de pensamento sobre a cidade (1999, 2012) and an examination of the most recent publications, both individual and collective, placing special emphasis on the collections resulting from the Simpurb events. The main present-day topics of the subdiscipline can be proposed by studying the Working Groups of the mentioned biennial events.
Pedro de Almeida Vasconcelos
Chapter 8. The Production of Urban Space and “Critical Geography”
Knowledge is part of the process of reproducing reality, a need to capture its novel aspects. I am referring to the profound transformations of reality since the 1990s, noting that, tending towards the urban, they take place in a global space, under the aegis of financial capital. These metamorphoses need to be explained in their contradictions which can be interpreted, in this century, through the urban conflicts exposed by demonstrations in public spaces in major cities, demanding an effort to interpret them. This is based on a certain theory of reality that assumes an open and contradictory social totality. This revelation, which is based on the dialectical method, enables the elaboration of a transition from Geography towards a metageography which, going beyond the limits imposed by a specialisation, accentuates the need to address the foundations of explaining reality. This movement is performed through the centrality of the concept of a “social production of space”, focussing on how the spatiality of social relationships takes places in the modern world. From this perspective, we define space as a “condition, medium and product of social reproduction”, within a critical-radical geography about urban space in the present day.
Ana Fani Alessandri Carlos
Chapter 9. Dialogues on Brazilian Political Geography and Its Perspectives in the Twenty-First Century
The challenges faced by Brazilian political geography in the twenty-first century are (1) a reconsideration of its history, in view of its relationship with geopolitics; (2) the necessary dialogue (overcoming the idea of transposition) between academic and school geography, reflecting upon imagined geographies and stereotypes of global politics disseminated in school; (3) intradisciplinary exchanges with sub-categories of geography (such as urban, agrarian, environmental, economic and cultural geographies); (4) interdisciplinary exchanges, especially with political sciences, international relations and history; (5) the geopolitics of knowledge, translated into the relationship between Brazilian and Francophone political geographies, Anglophone geography and emerging Latin American decolonial geopolitics; (6) the 1990s “territorial turn” and the uses and abuses of the concept of territory in different areas of knowledge and social practice; (7) connections with the state, management of territory and public policies and the mutual interference in categories of analysis and in practices; (8) regional and global horizons of Brazilian political geography and geopolitics in the face of Brazil’s international standing; (9) the incorporation of Brazilian territory and societal issues and finally, (10) the acknowledgement of actors beyond the state and of spaces beyond academia that produce political knowledge, which challenge and nourish scientific production in political geography.
Adriana Dorfman, Lício Caetano do Rego Monteiro
Chapter 10. The Consensual Divorce of Geography. Adherence to Neoliberalism, the Cult of Freedom and the Overthrow of Democracy
The connection with the State has shaped, in a certain manner, the emergence of geography. This discipline has participated in different ways in the national development agenda. It has constructed a theoretical and empirical framework which has allowed us, since the transition from the national and regional scale, to interpret the nation. It has supported, from a technical and bureaucratic apparatus, the construction of development plans which have historically translated into authoritarian, hegemonic visions of national development. The fact is that the State needed geography and geography, as a scientific field of knowledge, needed investment from the State, especially in the field of training researchers. This history, however, is not linear and, above all in modern times, points to a rift, given that the historical circumstances are marked, on the one hand, by the unrestricted adherence to the neoliberal model, marked by the New Tax System (NRF), and, on the other, by the discrediting of scientific knowledge in general and the field of humanities in particular. The State has completely lost its ambition for a national development project and, due to the lack of this ambition, it has also abandoned geography.
Tadeu Alencar Arrais
Chapter 11. Scientific Research and the Construction of the Field of Teaching of Geography in Schools: Trends and Challenges
The aim of this chapter is to present the cutting edge Brazilian academic–scientific production focused on the area of Teaching of Geography, limited to the years 1987–2019. This limitation is justified due to the fact that it was the period in which there was an increase in the amount of work produced, national coverage, research topics and clashes of theoretical-methodological, epistemological and political guidelines which developed the debates on the concepts of Teaching of Geography, course plans, teaching practices, research and outreach, among much other production, which influenced the field of geography taught in schools and the initial and ongoing education of professors. To do so, we will cover the origins of the field of research, the transformation which it has undergone, as well as its current configuration and challenges, with the critical, libertarian and emancipating perspective of education as a horizon for action. We have conducted qualitative and quantitative studies of books, specialist journals, dissertations and theses produced on the issue in order to reflect on the path for constructing this field of knowledge and, above all, on its challenges with a view to strengthening Piagetian education, which together with other conservative and currently neoliberal policies, have strongly impacted and continue to impact the field with regard to the expansion of the number of jobs focused on the methodologies of teaching which help to alienate the political and transformative role of education in a country of broad social and territorial inequalities, such as Brazil.
Ângela Massumi Katuta, Maria Adailza Martins de Albuquerque
Chapter 12. The Contribution of Milton Santos to the Theoretical Formation of Brazilian Geography
Milton Santos’ academic and political career in Brazilian Geography dates back to his first works on the reality of the state of Bahia—in the north-east region of Brazil—during the 1950s. His research and publications on urbanisation in Third World countries in the 1970s earned him international renown and made him a central author for theoretical production in human geography. In this context of great political effervescence and enormous transformations in the human sciences, Santos developed the theory of the two circuits of the urban economy—a critical approach to the current conceptions of urbanisation, which takes the specificity of peripheral countries as its starting point. Another of the author’s central contributions during this same period was the concept of socio-spatial formation, which considers space as a fundamental component of the social totality and its movement. More recently, in the 1990s, his conceptual proposals on what he called the technical-scientific-informational milieu—this geographical medium comprising an increasingly intensive presence of informational techniques, one of the main factors which permitted the advancement of the contemporary process of globalisation—were fundamental. This article aims to re-examine some of Milton Santos’ contributions, while also attempting to stress the historical contexts in which each of them were created. It is important to note that he is an author with an independent and critical theoretical production that expresses an emancipating vision of the geography of the Global South.
Mónica Arroyo, Fabio Betioli Contel
Chapter 13. Carlos Augusto de Figueiredo Monteiro and the Construction of Brazilian Geographical Climatology
Brazilian university geography was founded in the first half of the twentieth century under the philosophical and epistemological frameworks of the French School and the German School. This was one of the events that opened up the institutional modernisation of the country—a way of placing scientific knowledge within the sphere of the country’s development. For around 20 years, the nascent geography was dominated by its Franco-German roots, at a time when the first professors and graduates in Brazilian geography were educated. Carlos Augusto de Figueiredo Monteiro was educated within this context, at the end of the 1940s, and subsequently pursued an internship in France with Francis Ruellan, in the Laboratory of Geomorphology/Dinard. Within this scientific context, he made contact with and was influenced by the Norwegian—or frontogenesis—School (in particular the contributions of Serra and Ratisbona), being one of the first to apply (1) the approach of atmospheric circulation and air mass dynamics to the genetic analysis and classification of the climates of Brazil. This contribution inaugurated a new approach (1960s) to climate, based on atmospheric dynamics and their interaction with human activities within Brazil's territory. Echoing the criticisms of Max Sorre regarding the statistical approach to weather, and Pierre Pedelaborde regarding weather types, he developed (2) the rhythm-based analysis of weather types, as required in order to take advantage of the atmosphere as a geographical factor. Concerned about the chaotic urbanisation of Brazil and the subsequent reduction in the quality of life there, he proposed (1970) a (3) theoretical-methodological foundation for the insertion of urban climate into the planning of cities (Urban Climate System; UCS). These three major contributions constituted the formation of a Brazilian Climatology School and a Brazilian Urban Climatology School. However, his contributions also extended to the fields of geographical epistemology, environmental analysis and cultural geography.
Francisco Mendonça
Chapter 14. Aziz Nacib Ab’Saber and the Professionalisation of Research in Geomorphology in Brazilian Geography Courses
The history of the discipline of geography in Brazil and its professionalisation is told as one of an exclusive products, inserted into the country’s project of modernisation, which would be achieved only with the knowledge and integration of the Brazilian territory. Aziz Nacib Ab’Sáber, along with João José Bigarella, Fernando Flávio Marques de Almeida and Maria Regina Mousinho de Meis, are leaders when it comes to the formation of geomorphology in Brazil as a scientific field of research—in geography and geosciences in their entirety, and with strong impacts on other disciplinary fields. In general, and independently of their technical-scientific options, it can be said that, with greater or lesser influence, their understanding of geomorphology was united by a cross-cutting axis: Lester King’s Theory of Pediplanation. Unlike the masters alluded to above, Aziz Ab’Sáber has remained faithful to its paradigmatic principle—that is, that life is the result of a balance between is to siasis database and paleoclimatic variations. This lies within a polycyclic vision, where the glacial phases would lead to the production of pediplains and their correlative deposits, while in tropicality, the carving phase of thalwegs would predominate with the consequent dismantling of the surfaces. In 1956, the 8th International Conference of the IGU Congress was held, and in this congress, Ab’Sáber was introduced to Jean Tricart’s thoughts and to Jean Dresch, who during their field visits drew his attention to the role of stone lines as indicators of geomorphological processes. The importance of stone lines for geomorphological studies, associated with the notion of physiology of the Otto Karl Siegfried Passarge landscape, marked not only Ab’Sáber’s own reinvention in terms of his conception of geomorphology, but also enabled him to be a leader in the renewal of Brazilian geomorphology from the referential perspective and using the very epistemological structure of Brazilian geographical science.
Antonio Carlos Vitte, Rafaela Soares

Brazilian Geography, a Geography of the Street

Chapter 15. The Right to the City and the Housing in Brazilian Cities
This article will analyse the general conditions of housing in Brazilian cities and housing policies, with an emphasis on the current situation. The right to adequate housing forms part of the right to the city, but the right to the city is broader; it consists of a different way of producing the city. The lack of adequate housing for workers is inherent to the capitalist production method. Housing includes land ownership—one of the foundations of the capitalist production method—and produces income for owners, given the collective production of the city. Buildings require a construction process and produce profits for the construction sectors. In Brazil, since its beginnings, land as a form of wealth has not been permitted for all. In 1850, the Land Law characterised land as a commodity in the capitalist production method. As such, access to this commodity can only be gained through purchasing and/or leasing—something which workers must guarantee with their own (always insufficient) salaries, as confirmed by the rate of the minimum wage. State housing policies for workers in the 1930s made employment conditional on the ability to rent and/or purchase. In 1966, the income brackets were established, and working would thereafter allow the acquisition of housing through the BNH-FGTS. From then on, the world of work began to subsidise urban development. This policy came to an end in 1986 with the dissolution of the BNH. There was financing, but no housing policy. The housing policy was reintroduced in 2009, with the Minha casa, minhavida [my house, my life] housing programme, set to expire in 2020. In any event, there is no guarantee of the right to housing as expressed in the Federal Constitution—something which evidences the socio-spatial inequality.
Arlete Moysés Rodrigues
Chapter 16. The Long March of the Brazilian Peasantry: Socioterritorial Movements, Conflicts and Agrarian Reform
The history which marks the long march of Brazilian peasants is written in the almost always bloody struggles of this social class. On covering it, I make clear that my understanding of the logic of capitalist development is based on the understanding that said development is performed in an unequal and contradictory manner. That is to say, I assume that the development of capitalism—and its subsequent expansion to the countryside—is produced unevenly, complexly and, therefore, plurally. This theoretical reference framework, therefore, is the opposite of that which views the uniform, total and absolute expansion of salaried work in the countryside with the founding characteristic of capitalism. Therefore, I believe that capital works with the contradictory movement of inequality in the process of its development. In the case of Brazil, capitalism is acting by simultaneously developing—in the sense of implementing salaried work—the production of several crops in different areas of the country. This is also the case, for example, with sugar cane crops, reforestation and oranges, partially in Sao Paulo, soy in Mato Grosso, etc. On the other hand, this same capital develops peasant production in an articulated and contradictory manner. This means that I also assume that peasants are not social subjects outside of the scope of capitalism, but rather social subjects within it and, therefore, a social class of it. As such, I have broken capitalism down into four social classes: bourgeoise, proletariat, landowners and peasants, as well as, of course, indigenous people and the descendants of Quilombos.
Ariovaldo Umbelino de Oliveira
Chapter 17. Land and Food: The New Struggles of the Landless Workers Movement (MST)
This article aims to analyse this new struggle by the MST and contribute towards an understanding of the emergence of the struggle for land and food. The MST, recognised as one of the most prominent peasant movements in the struggle for land and agrarian reform in Brazil, has also set up a food movement through participation in the creation of popular and institutional markets, where it sells part of the production from its territory in the construction of a peasant food system. The struggle for land in the third decade of the twenty-first century is very different from the struggle for land in the 1970s/80s, when the MST was founded. The characteristics of the struggle against large estates and agribusiness, including multinational corporations, are analysed. There is a new struggle for land, which is approaching the cities and has appropriated food sovereignty and agroecology. The struggle for land has its roots in other struggles. The struggle for healthy food is inseparable from the struggle for land and agrarian reform. A new direction has been taken. This theoretical essay, based on various studies, including monographs, dissertations, theses, books and research reports, will analyse the ecological production of rice in MST agrarian reform settlements in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the production of coffee in settlements in Minas Gerais, as well as other foods in settlements in other regions of Brazil. With the struggle for land and foods that have provided peasant farmers with an income, we will show the creation of new peasant food system which is resulting in the sustainable modernisation of agriculture. We will argue that this is an experience not limited to the MST, but rather which forms part of the globalisation of the agrarian question.
Bernardo Mançano Fernandes
Chapter 18. Geography and Indigenous Peoples: Struggles of Resistance
This study aims to analyse the processes associated with indigenous struggles, particularly in relation to the Guarani and Kaiowá in Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil. Such processes embody the advancement and intensification of the contradictory movement of class and non-class antagonism, expressed by capitalists and land owners against indigenous peoples. In America, the processes of commodification and incorporation of labour around the axis of capital emerged from racial division and other structuring elements, such as patriarchalism and religion, which became dominating powers, closely linked to the socio-spatial relations that have (re)produced them. In Brazil, the process culminated in the constitution of privately owned land, expropriation and violence, consolidating windfall profits as a result of turning nature into a monopoly and commodities—a specific class power unfolding in the production of value, either by expropriation or by the violent proletarianisation to which indigenous peoples have been subjected. This process fosters capital territorialisation and impacts the life of the indigenous peoples, whose individuals contradictorily re-frame their (re)existence. Indigenous labour has been incorporated into the axis of capital, from overexploitation to the capital-centric focus, while the indigenous workers contradictorily refer to their ancestry and cosmology, taking a stand as indigenous people. In these struggles, the indigenous identity becomes an identity of resistance, and the socio-spatial practices aim towards the preservation of knowledge. Such knowledge and practices gain relevance and reaffirm the state of being and living in the world, opposing the metabolic rift between man and nature, even if the commodification of life and common assets leads to the self-destruction of humankind.
Márcia Yukari Mizusaki, José Gilberto de Souza
Chapter 19. The Geography of Labour Under Construction: Theoretical Challenges and Research Praxis
An already bad situation, with the added effects of COVID-19, has unveiled an explosive and cruel reality for workers, society and the environment in general. What has now become a reality, after being reshaped for the past 70 years, especially in Brazil, has revealed the simultaneous coexistence of regressive and ghostly forms (based on technological advances), associated with more rigid practices of labour control. As such, based on Taylorist-Fordist-Toyotist foundations, and under the auspices of technological development and information technology (IT), and now in the second decade of the twenty-first century of digital platforms, the brand of what we call systemic labour degradation is being imposed. The proliferation of outsourcing and platforms are imposing the dismantling of protection rights orchestrated by the State and other bodies linked to the interests of capital and the bourgeoisie. In the course of our research, the forms of (de)realisation, exploitation, subordination, etc., have allowed us to capture the contradictions and territorial dynamics of class conflicts, revealed through the existing plasticity, whether they are peasants, workers, employees in general, Quilombolas, men, women, formal employees or informal, temporary, self-employed, subordinate freelancers, etc. It gives us no pleasure to envisage that within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of unemployed workers could rise by 30 or 40% by the end of 2020, totalling 40 million unemployed and disillusioned, and the situation could be even more explosive in the post-pandemic era. The Geography of Labour produced under the CEGeT has been applied to studies and critical analyses in order to understand the objectified mechanisms of the complex process guided by the extraction/appropriation of the surplus manpower by capital on a global scale, in times of structural and systemic crisis. Nevertheless, only research will allow for an understanding and argumentation based on a dialectical praxis of the denial/affirmation of labour and its transcendence, based on experiences and learning which arise from the territorial movement of labour, and from the historical practices based on precepts of solidarity, registered around the world.
Antonio Thomaz Junior
Chapter 20. A Popular Environmentalism in Defence of Life, Dignity and Territory (An Autobiographical Contribution from an Activist Geographer)
The Brazilian geography underwent an important turning point in the 1970s, partly as a result of a general transformation of the geography around the world and mainly due to the particularities of the historical moment which Brazilian society was traversing. An important theoretical contribution resulting from this was a radical epistemic and political change in which geography, instead of being an object of study—the geographical space—became viewed as a verb—the act/action of writing the earth: geography. The article will have an autobiographical tone due to the author's involvement in the process: a geobiography.
Carlos Walter Porto-Gonçalves
Chapter 21. Decolonisation Challenges of the Brazilian/Latin American Geography/ies
The theoretical trajectory of Brazilian Geography has been strongly influenced by the hegemonic thought in the European and North American context. Some authors such as Josué de Castro have, nevertheless, presented the seeds of approaches that are today labelled “decolonial”. With the end of the military dictatorship, the renewal promoted by the rise of historical materialism inaugurated a new period that is much more attentive to the spatiality of power and territory. The geographer Milton Santos played a notable role and reinforced a change in geographical thinking, with an influence throughout Latin America. More recently, the dissemination of so-called decolonial approaches has created new conditions for international and interdisciplinary dialogue, particularly by focusing on the acknowledgement of “local” or “regional” knowledge and the political commitment to social change, not only in analytical-critical terms, but also in practical-participative terms. As such, territory as an instrument for struggle against the coloniality of power (Eurocentric binary thought, patriarchalism, racism) is central for many subaltern groups, allowing us to speak about an openness of Brazilian and Latin American geographies (plural) to a fertile exchange with their ancient Euro-North American roots.
Rogério Haesbaert
Chapter 22. Brazilian Feminist Geographies: Occupying Space, Resisting Negation and Producing Challenges to Geography
This chapter aims to understand the emergence of feminist geographies and the geographies of sexualities after the 2000s in Brazil. It evidences the epistemological traditions that hampered their expansion as well as the strategies of resistance adopted by a group of researchers who call themselves feminist geographers. The analysis was carried out based on the idea of the geopolitics of knowledge, on the understanding that scientific output occurs against a background of unequal distribution of economic, political and symbolic power among the agents operating in the scientific field. We constructed our arguments based on the data stored in the Brazilian Geography Observatory at the State University of Ponta Grossa, which currently has around 24,000 scientific papers published in online journals that are included in the Qualis System of Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel; CAPES). In addition to the quantitative data gathered regarding authorship profile, themes and volume of scientific output, we interviewed researchers with greater impact in the area of feminist geographies and the geographies of sexualities to understand the difficulties they face in their day-to-day research.
Joseli Maria Silva, Marcio Jose Ornat
Chapter 23. Association of Brazilian Geographers (AGB): The Construction of a Geography of Struggle
The history of science is necessary for the process of doing science. The history of science is not just the result of strictly scientific processes. In this regard, our intention with this text is to look at the Association of Brazilian Geographers (AGB) and its role in professional training, its importance in the elaboration, appropriation, and dissemination of ideas of/in geographical science in Brazil, and in the definition of the agenda of struggles of the geographical community itself in Brazil. These processes are the result of what the history of geography itself has handed down to us: the great proximity between the AGB and the transformations perceived in the science of geography and Brazilian society in the years subsequent to 1934. In this regard, we discuss the ways, means, and processes which have given the AGB a prominent role within this scientific community in Brazil, and thereby attempt to understand to what extent and in what way the AGB and the movement surrounding it have been responsible for consolidating Brazilian geography, for a geography of struggle. It can also be asserted that without the existence, ideas, practices, interventions, and transformations of the AGB, since 1934, upon its creation; since 1946, with the holding of its assemblies in different parts of the country; since 1972, with the holding of its first mass event; since 1979, with its more radical and democratic transformation, the history of geography in Brazil would have been very different. The AGB, born in the previous century, is an expression of the phenomenon of the social history of geography in Brazil. Its emergence and subsequent development are the result of a specific conception of geography, of a long institutional history within Brazilian geography. The AGB is not only the bearer of a certain professional institutionality, it is a moving entity, but also a space where science is developed as knowledge in the service of the transformation of society and the geographical space, in line with the philosophy of praxis. This is why in recent years the AGB has been a growing space with an active and vibrant presence of social movements which, in dialogue with the geographies, day by day are constructing more committed geography, a geography of struggle.
Charlles da França Antunes, Paulo Alentejano
Brazilian Geography
Rubén C. Lois González
Marco Antonio Mitidiero Junior
Copyright Year
Springer Nature Singapore
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