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Caderno CRH

versão impressa ISSN 0103-4979


ROSA, Marcelo C.. Agrarian reform and land reform: social movements and the sense of being a landless worker in Brazil and South Africa. Cad. CRH [online]. 2012, vol.25, n.64, pp.99-114. ISSN 0103-4979.

This article presents the results of a comparative research developed between 2005 and 2009 on the actions of the South African Landless People's Movement (LPM) and the Brazilian Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST). In Brazil, the concept of an agrarian reform prevails, that is, a political action towards a productive agricultural use of the land, having the productivity criteria as its main frame of reference. In South Africa, the conflict is structured under the term of land reform, a slogan that refers to the changes in territory distribution, aiming to make up for the harm caused by apartheid. Thus, we point out that each case involves different types of subjects within their political actions. By having different historical agents as their reference, the movements analyzed in both countries attempt to gain legitimacy through particular dimensions that justify their existence and struggle. In this article, we intend to show the specificities of the landless workers in each movement, according to the forms of "social elevation and justification" regarding their peers and the State.

Palavras-chave : landless workers; agrarian reform; South Africa; social movements; MST.

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