Revista Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Niñez y Juventud
Print version ISSN 1692-715X
GUARANA DE CASTRO, Elisa. Rural Youth in Brazil: social exclusion processes and the construction of a political actor. Rev.latinoam.cienc.soc.niñez juv [online]. 2009, vol.7, n.1, pp. 179-208. ISSN 1692-715X.
This paper deals with the perceptions of the social category rural youth in Brazil. A common analysis emphasizes the youth migration problem from rural areas to urban centers. In addition it is believed that there is little interest in rural lifestyle. Still, there is a great distance between the theoretical efforts in Brazil for analyzing urban youth as opposed to the few studies on rural youth. However, social movements in Brazil and in the rest of Latin America have been the scenarios for a whole new organization of rural youth as a political actor. This study intends to go beyond the demographic matter and deal with the category rural youth within social identities processes. Our main goal is to analyze youth as a social category embedded in a complex configuration. To accomplish this firstly it revisits the academic debates about youth and about rural youth. Secondly it problemathizes one of the main issues associated to rural youth. Which is the "migration problem" mentioned above. Furthermore analyzes events and organizational forms through which rural youth acts as political actor in Brazil. Last but not least the study presents some early thoughts on governmental policies for rural youth. We also intend to contribute to the theoretical debate on youth and rural youth, which have privileged paradigms, such as youth as a transitory period from childhood to adult life, rather than a category that creates agency. On studying diversity and native self-representation we intend to analyze narratives and practices as ways of constructing this "new actor".
Keywords : Youth; rural youth; agrarian reform; social identities; agency; social exclusion; social movements.