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Tempo Social

versão impressa ISSN 0103-2070


MARTINS, JOSÉ DE SOUZA. The time of the frontier. Return to the controversy concerning historical period of the expansion frontier and the pioneer frontier. Tempo soc. [online]. 1996, vol.8, n.1, pp.25-70. ISSN 0103-2070.

The Frontier is a recurrent theme in the Brazilian literature on Social Sciences. Despite attemps by certain anthropologists in importing notions which F. Turner developed for explaining the expanding frontier of the USA, and which deal with the influence of the frontier on the constitution of American national character, strictly speaking such notions do not apply to the Brazilian case. Geographers and anthropologists, in the period extending from the 30's to the 50's carried out field surveys which provided essential elements for a sociological concept of the frontier as rooted in what is historically unique and sociologically relevant for the Brazilian case. Based on these references, the author puts forth his thesis suggesting that the frontier is, at once, the site of otherness and the expression of contemporaneity of historical epochs. It is here that the unity of the diverse, a methodological presupposition of dialectics, offers the most appropriate and rewarding space for scientifc investigation.

Palavras-chave : frontier; historical period; frontier period; social movements; peonage; expansion frontier; pioneer frontier.

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