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Critics and justifications regarding agricultural alternatives in the State of São Paulo: reconstruction perspectives of urban and rural relationships

Abstract

This project aims at discussing the conflicts on agricultural alternatives, specifically related to peri-urban settlements and organic agriculture, analyzing them by means of the theory of justification. This theory is ascribed to the pragmatic sociology, and emphasizes the room for maneuver and individuals' choices in controversial public situations. In this sense, it constitutes a pertinent and instigating approach to analyze disputes, due to the proposition of a wide range of justice ideals, capable of supporting the arguments that parties use to criticize or justify their actions. The selection of two study areas (Milton Santos settlement in Americana and Cosmópolis, and Demétria neighborhood in Botucatu) in the State of São Paulo, represent experiences for reconfiguring urban and rural relationships, provoking different controversies. Milton Santos settlement was created due to a strategic reorientation of the Rural Workers Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais) aiming to help urban families to settle in land areas located near urban areas in order to develop agricultural projects with an agroecological philosophy. Demétria neighborhood was created with the objective of establishing it as a spot to disseminate biodynamic agriculture, from the 1970's. Over time, this location welcomed neo-rural inhabitants, with different motives to get settle in country areas. Real estate pressures and the conventional agricultural practiced in the neighborhood surroundings are concerning and divergence issues that reached the public sphere. Therefore, this study aims at shedding some light on the processes to reconfigure urban and rural relationships, impelled by an ideal of sustainable development, due to an analysis of criticism and justifications of the parties involved in public debates related to both study cases. (AU)