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Literature or anthropological criminology? The “cangaço” in Pedra Bonita and Cangaceiros

João Paulo Mansur About the author


This article investigates José Lins do Rego’s socio-criminological interpretations of the “cangaço”, which provided him with a background against which he developed the novels Pedra Bonita and Cangaceiros. It shows how the novelist positioned himself between two criminological theories that, at that time, tried to understand the “cangaço”: the theory of social banditry and the criminal anthropology of the Brazilian Positive School. It concludes that the path taken by Rego to explain the genesis of the “cangaço” involved understanding it as a function of “colonelist” disputes.

“Cangaço”; José Lins do Rego; “Colonelism”; Anthropological criminology; History of Law

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