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Amazonian frontiers : understanding population dynamics from a study of family livelihoods in three urban areas of Brazilian Amazon

Thais Tartalha do Nascimento Lombardi
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Álvaro de Oliveira D'Antona; Marta Maria do Amaral Azevedo; Ana Cláudia Duarte Cardoso; Maria Isabel Sobral Escada
Advisor: Roberto Luiz do Carmo

An enduring and common concept applied to the Amazon is the frontier. From the first expedition along the Amazon River to the recent implementation of hydropower dams, the Amazon as a biome has been thought and describe as a frontier. However, what it means? Is the frontier describing a homogenous humid tropical forest called Amazon, or it is better to say that one is dealing with frontiers inside this humid tropical forests? How different is the frontier throughout the Amazon, and how to tackle those differences? Those are all questions we intend to answer here. To fulfil our pursuit we dialogue with the population and environment field to elaborate a comparative study of three urban areas located at the Central-South portion of the area known as Legal Amazon in Brazil. The three urban areas offers the opportunity to understand the process of settlement and urbanization of the Amazon underlining the growing importance of thinking about changes on age structure and population distribution at the region. Thus, this research attempted to be a study of the urban-rural relations of the region looking from the urban point of view. Using multivariate analysis to access the livelihoods strategies of families and households it was possible to show that urbanization at the Amazon has support multiples livelihoods strategies dissimilarly distributed and accommodated within each urban areas. Nonetheless it was found that those strategies are very much contextual, rooted in deep connection to cultural and economic aspects. Therefore, the frontier regarded as the theoretical framework allowed to move from the specificities of the local strategies to the generalization of Amazon¿s dynamic. Through the so-called, frontier¿s faces, representing the local context and process, it was possible to grasp the mutiple livelihoods strategies both within the urban areas and across them. Following, the comparisson across the livelihood strategies enacted us to describe general patterns or the population and environment dynamics. Thus, emerge the importance of urban areas to the Amazon region as they act as knots uniting two different dynamics, one highly connected to rural areas, through people and goods flows and productive strategies, and other just operating on urban to urban connections. The weight of each of the dynamics, as much as how it will reflects on population and environment determined by the frontier¿s face where it is rooted. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/06034-9 - “The rigth place tò be. family arrangements, spatial distribution ánd environment at a paraense Amazonian region
Grantee:Thais Tartalha Do Nascimento Lombardi
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate