This Land Is Ours Now


This Land Is Ours Now: Social Mobilization and the Meanings of Land in Brazil
Wendy Wolford
2010, Duke University Press
296 pages, 15 plates

SOCIAL movements are returning as an important focus of academic interest now that the left in much of Latin America has achieved an established, and in many cases, leading presence through political parties and party systems. This is an interesting development that has much to do with the limitations of parties exposed by the drift towards centrism and Latin America’s continuing vulnerability in the face of global financial instability. As a result, new books have been published about Mexico’s Zapatistas and their relationship with global radical movements, the role played by Venezuelan popular movements in pushing forward the Bolivarian Revolution, and, here, the movement that has been at the very heart of the campaign for reform in the Brazilian countryside. In This Land Is Ours Now, Wendy Wolford analyses how Brazil’s extraordinary Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (Landless Workers’ Movement) functions. In doing so, she presents a new framework for understanding social mobilization, arguing that social move¬ments are not the politically coherent, bounded entities often portrayed by scholars, the press, and movement leaders but dynamic mediations between localised moral economies and official ideologies. – GO’T

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