Transição agroecológica em uma abordagem sociocultural: ressignificação de práticas agrícolas, localidades e modos de vida
Vaz, Renata Maria Guerreiro Fontoura Costa
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Starting from the notion of transition in the field of agroecology, this thesis refers to an analysis of this process through the socio-cultural relations that constitute it, based on three case studies in the city of São Carlos. Also, the research had as objectives to understand the motivations that lead farmers to adhere to ecologically-based production methods; to analyze the new social and environmental relations resulting from the agroecological transition; to unveil the processes of redefining and creating new identities linked to agroecology; to investigate the relocation processes originated from the new conceived productive practices; and to compare the different transition processes and the respective nuances among the studied cases, taking into account the specific social and historical contexts of each reality. The hypothesis presented is that the agroecological transition, understood as a socio-cultural process triggered by multiple elements, promotes substantial changes in the social and environmental relations of the subjects who experience it, which is presented through the adoption of new ecological based productive practices, the changing of values, the building of new networks of communication and collaboration among the many social actors, the relocation, and transformation at the territorial level –in a dynamics that flows from disenchantment regarding the conventional mode of production to the enchantment by the possibilities of change that ecologically-based agriculture provides – associated with the challenges inherent to this rupture. In order to do so, the notions of “critical event”, by Veena Das, and “symbolic efficacy”, by Lévi-Strauss, were adopted as analytical references, which were adapted for the understanding of motivating and/or rupture events that lead the subjects and social groups to adhere to engagement in transition, and the process of food relocation. Interviews were conducted with the aforementioned social groups, with a focus on addressing life trajectories, in addition to participatory methodologies and participant observation. The collected narratives were examined by means of the Discursive Textual Analysis. Analysis categories were developed referring to the period that precedes the engagement in the transition process, among them, there are the origins and ways of life, the struggle for land, and motivating and/or rupture events. From that moment on, new social and environmental relations were created by these groups, analyzed based on factors such as: the search for new knowledge and adopted productive techniques; access to public policies and development projects; their own consumption and food security; redefinition of values associated with agroecological production; relocation; marketing and certification strategies; and overcome/present challenges and/or conflicts, among others. Thus, as results, the research reveals that the engagement in the agroecological transition requires specific knowledge and is related to the creation of meaning and the construction of trusting relationships, it requires constant dedication and is linked to values that go beyond monetary. A process, therefore, that is triggered by endogenous and exogenous reasons, in which the motivating events play a crucial role, in different realities of life in rural areas.
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