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Teoria & Sociedade

Print version ISSN 1518-4471


ZHOURI, Andréa  and  OLIVEIRA, Raquel. Industrial landscapes and the uprooting of local populations: social and environmental conflicts in hydroelectric projects.Translated byIrene Sofia Silva McGowan. Teor. soc. [online]. 2006, vol.1Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1518-4471.

Development projects conceived within policies of economic growth concentrate "environmental space". The homogenization they promote in space reflects a monocultural state of mind that threats a diversity of non-industrialized modes of living and uses of resources. It generates an unequal ecological distribution. This is the case of hydroelectric dams that flood protected areas and impose a compulsory displacement of riverside dwellers (family agriculture, indigenous and ex-slaves communities etc.). From the research experience in Minas Gerais, this article analyses the environmental licensing process related to construction of dams as a field of conflicts around the social appropiation of nature. In the struggle to define the users and meanings of territories, there are, on the one hand, the rural communities affected by such projects and, on the other hand, the Electric Sector. These actors represent two different rationalities in dipute: for local people, the land represents family and community heritage which are kept by collective memory and rules of using and sharing the resources. From a market perspective, the Electric Sector understands the territory as propoerty, therefore as a commodity. In such a field os struggles, where different positions sustain unequal forces, uneven and unsustainable social and environmental policies are perpetuated.

Keywords : Hydroelectric plants; territorial uprooting; local populations; enviromental justice.

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