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SIGAUD, Lygia. Armadilhas da honra e do perdão: usos sociais do direito na mata pernambucana. Mana [online]. 2004, vol.10, n.1, pp.131-163. ISSN 1678-4944.

This article focuses on a lawsuit filed by a worker against his boss, in 1965, in the southern Pernambuco countryside. This case proved to be exceptional compared to the normal run of legal processes in this region of large-scale sugar-cane plantations. The first part reconstructs the social conditions in which the case took shape, examining the meanings behind the behaviour of actors in the unfolding events, and identifying the forms of coercion placed upon them. I also explore the implications of the case. The second part concentrates on the history of social relations in the plantation during the subsequent period, seen in terms of the law its uses and its effectiveness. The analysis enables a clearer understanding of the dynamics and complexity of some of the processes causing individuals to start to act in response to legal norms.

Keywords : Law; Exchange; Rural workers; Northeast Brazil.

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