Βοηθήστε μας να κάνουμε καλύτερη την υπηρεσία eJournals. Αν έχετε χρησιμοποιήσει την υπηρεσία eJournals στο παρελθόν και έχετε κάποια εμπειρία ως προς τη χρήση της, παρακαλούμε αφιερώστε ένα λεπτό και συμπληρώστε το σύντομο ερωτηματολόγιο!

Forms of Unfree Labour in Brazil: Dealing with Racism and Racialisation in Amazonian Agriculture


Published: Jun 3, 2020
Keywords:
unfree labour Brazil agriculture
Julia Harnoncourt
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4310-6879
Abstract

Unlike many other countries, the Brazilian state has created institutions and actions against unfree labour. In addition, unfree labour is a topic that appears in popular media as well as in scientific research. Poverty is generally attributed as the only factor making people vulnerable to the promises of labour recruiters, while the intersection between class and race is denied. In this article, which takes the Brazilian example, racism is seen as a structural element of unfree labour. Two factors play a big role in this intersection: first, structural racism and, second, racism as a theory of legitimation. As regards the first, imagined races influence one’s chances of having a good education as well as lead to segregation in the job and housing markets, etc. Black people in Brazil are more likely to be poor and have lower chances of upward mobility. As these structures are also mirrored in unfree labour formation, most of unfree labourers in Brazil are black, even though skin colour does not constitute a factor for labour recruiters or estate owners in choosing labourers. As regards the second, when poor people are racialised, they are ascribed specific characteristics. These mostly legitimise their subordinated position as well as their poverty. In Brazil, it could be argued that the category of the peão de trecho (migrant labourer) has been racialised. This group of subaltern labourers are seen as totally irrational people who do not possess the ability to plan their future, but who could be, with the correct guidance, potentially good labourers. Therefore, the exploitation of the peões de trecho is attributed to their characteristic traits and not to labour relations. Additionally, structural factors – as, for example, the lack of access to basic resources – are negated, making poverty a problem of merit and not of chances. Using the example of unfree labour in Brazilian agriculture, this article presents racism and racialisation as factors structuring the labour market as a whole.

Article Details
  • Section
  • ARTICLES
Downloads
Download data is not yet available.
Author Biography
Julia Harnoncourt, University of Vienna

Julia Harnoncourt was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1985. In 2007, she began a masters in history at the University of Vienna, which she completed in 2012. The resulting thesis, which was published in 2014, concerns population control in 19th-century colonial Algeria. Her PhD dissertation, which she completed in July 2017, is about unfree labour in Pará, Brazil, and was published in 2018. Since 2012, she has published articles on racism, anticolonial resistance movements and, more recently, social problems, for example, the living situations of refugees in Austria. She has also participated in international conferences in Brazil, Senegal, El Salvador, Germany, Greece and Austria. She currently teaches at the Institute of History at the University of Vienna.

References
“40 ameaças do Congresso Nacional aos direitos humanos.” Brasil de Fato. 24 January 2017. Accessed 10 September 2019. https://www.brasildefato.com.br/2017/01/24/40-ameacas-do-congresso-nacional-aos-direitos-humanos/.
“Dados sobre trabalho escravo no Brasil.” Reporter Brasil. 2016. Accessed 10 September 2019. https://reporterbrasil.org.br/dados/trabalhoescravo/.
“Lista suja.” Repórter Brasil. Accessed 6 July 2016. http://reporterbrasil.org.br/listasuja/resultado.php.
Balibar, Étienne. “Class Racism.” In Race, Nation, Class: Ambigous Identities, edited by Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein, 204–16. London: Verso, 1991.
Balibar, Étienne. “Preface.” In Race, Nation, Class: Ambigous Identities, edited by Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein, 1–13. London: Verso, 1991.
Bedenelli, Talita. “Trabalho escravo: ‘Há fazendas com hospitais para o gado, mas o trabalhador não tem nem água tratada’.” El País Brasil. 3 April 2017. Accessed 10 September 2019. http://brasil.elpais.com/brasil/2017/03/29/politica/1490822084_983546.html.
Bentes, Nilma. Negritando. Belém: Graphitte, 1992.
Bentes, Nilma. Aspectos da trajetória da população negra no Pará. Belém: UFPA, 2013.
Böhm, Andreas, Heiner Legewie, and Thomas Muhr. “Kursus Textinterpretation: Grounded Theory.” Forschungsbericht. Berlin: Technische Universität Berlin, Atlas, 2008.
Bourdieu, Pierre. “Verstehen.” In Das Elend der Welt: Zeugnisse und Diagnosen alltäglichen Leidens an der Gesellschaft, edited by Pierre Bourdieu et al., 779–882. Konstanz: UVK, 1997.
Brass, Tom. “Some Observations on Unfree Labour, Capitalist Restructuring, and Deproletarization.” In Free and Unfree Labour: The Debate Continues, edited by Tom Brass and Marcel van der Linden, 57–75. Bern: Peter Lang, 1997.
Brass, Tom. Labor Regime Change in the Twenty-First Century: Unfreedom, Capitalism and Primitive Accumulation. Chicago: Haymarket, 2013.
Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. Síntese de indicadores sociais: Uma análise das condições de vida da população brasileira, 2018. Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, 2018.
Carstensen, Lisa. “Trabalho forçado e tráfico de pessoas: uma análise do discurso em instituições e organizações internacionais e brasileiras.” In Brasiliana–Journal for Brazilian Studies 2, no. 2 (2013): 3–31.
Carvalho da Silva, José Guilherme. “As diversas faces da violência na Amazônia.” In Em defesa da vida: A Realidade dos/as defensores/as de direitos humanos sob a situação de risco e ameaça no estado do Pará, 39–47. Belém: CEDENPA, 2008.
Castro Gomes, Ângela Maria de. “Repression and Changes in Slave-like Labor in Brazil: In the Present Time and Uses of the Past.” Revista Brasileira de Historia 32, no. 64 (2012): 151–67.
Cavechini, Caio, Evelyn Kuriki, and Ivan Paganotti, dirs. “Correntes.” Documentary film. São Paulo: Repórter Brasil, 2005.
Central Intelligence Agency, “The World Factbook. Country Comparison: Distribution of Family Income – GINI Index.” 2017. Acessed 30 January 2019. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2172rank.html.
Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. London: Pluto Press, 2008.
Fischer, Georg, Christina Peters, and Frederik Schulze. “Brasilien in der Globalgeschichte.” In Brasilien in der Welt: Region, Nation und Globalisierung 1870–1945, edited by Georg Fischer, Christina Peters, Stefan Rinke, and Frederik Schulze, 9–50. New York: Campus, 2013.
Foucault, Michel. Überwachen und Strafen: Die Geburt des Gefängnisses. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2015.
Freyre, Gilberto. The Masters and the Slaves. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987.
Guimarães, Antonio Sérgio Alfredo. “Nach der democracia racial.” In Rassismus: Beiträge zu einem vielgesichtigen Phänomen, edited by Bea Gomes, Walter Schicho, and Arno Sonderegger, 95–118. Vienna: Mandelbaum, 2005.
Hanchard, Michael. “Black Cinderella? Race and the Public Sphere in Brazil.” In Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil, edited by Michael Hanchard, 59–81. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.
Harnoncourt, Julia. “Trabalho escravo? Ein historischer Vergleich auf globaler Ebene.” In JahrBuch für Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung 14, no. 3 (2015): 63–77.
Harnoncourt, Julia. Unfreie Arbeit: Trabalho escravo in der brasilianischen Landwirtschaft. Vienna: Promedia, 2018.
Hasenbalg, Carlos. “Race and Socioeconomic Inequalities in Brazil.” In Race, Class and Power in Brazil, edited by Pierre-Michel Fontaine, 25–41. Los Angeles: Center for Afro-American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, 1985.
Hofbauer, Andreas. Uma história de branqueamento ou o negro em questão. São Paulo: UNESP, 2006.
Hund, Wulf D. “Rassismus im Kontext: Geschlecht, Klasse, Nation, Kultur und Rasse.” In Grenzenlose Vorurteile: Antisemitismus, Nationalismus und ethnische Konflikte in verschiedenen Kulturen, edited by Irmtrud Woyak and Susanne Meinl, 17–40. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2002.
Hund, Wulf D. Negative Vergesellschaftung: Dimensionen der Rassismusanalyse. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot, 2006.
Le Breton, Binka. Vidas roubadas: A escravidão moderna na Amazônia Brasileira. São Paulo: Loyola, 2002.
Levine, Robert M., and John J. Crocitti. “Introduction.” In The Brazil Reader, edited by Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti, 1–9. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999.
Lima Xavier, Regina Célia, “Raça, classe e cor: Debates em torno de construção de identidades no Rio Grande do Sul no pós-abolição.” In Cruzando fronteiras: Novos olhares sobre a história do trabalho, edited by Alexandre Fortes, Henrique Espada Lima, Regina Célia Lima Xavier, and Sílvia Regina Ferraz Petersen, 103–31. São Paulo: Perseu Abramo, 2013.
Losada Moreira, Vânia Maria. “A conquista do trabalho indígena: Fé, razão e ciência no mundo colonial.” In Cruzando fronteiras: Novos olhares sobre a história do trabalho, edited by Alexandre Fortes, Henrique Espada Lima, Regina Célia Lima Xavier, and Sílvia Regina Ferraz Petersen, 133–65. São Paulo: Perseu Abramo, 2013.
Mar Castro Varela, Maria do, and Nikita Dhawan. Postkoloniale Theorie: Eine kritische Einführung. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2015.
Maranhão Costa, Patricía Trindade. Combatendo o trabalho escravo contemporâneo: O exemplo do Brasil. Brasília: ILO Office in Brazil, 2010.
McDowell, Linda. “Life without Father and Ford: The New Gender Order of Post-Fordism.” In Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, n.s., 16, no. 4 (1991): 400–19.
McGrath, Siobhán. “Fuelling Global Production Networks with Slave Labour? Migrant Sugar Cane Workers in the Brazilian Ethanol GPN.” Geoforum 44 (2013): 32–43.
McGrath, Siobhán, and Kendra Strauss. “Unfreedom and Workers’ Power: Ever-present Possibilities.” In Handbook of the International Political Economy of Production, edited by Kees van der Pijl, 299–317. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2015.
Nascimento, Abdìas do, and Elsa Larkin Nascimento. “Dance of Deception: A Reading of Race Relations in Brazil.” In Beyond Racism: Race and Inequality in Brazil, South Africa, and the United States, edited by Charles V. Hamilton, Lynn Huntley, Neville Alexander, Antonio Sergio Alfredo Guimaraes, and Wilmot James, 105–56. Colorado: Lynne Rienner, 2001.
Nogueira, Tamis Porfírio Costa Crisóstomo Ramos. “Mucama permitida: A identidade negra do trabalho doméstico no Brasil.” In Cadernos de Gênero e Diversidade 3, no. 4 (2017): 47–58.
Observatory of Economic Complexity. “Brazil.” 2016. Acessed 31 January 2019. https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/bra/#Exports.
Osório, Helen. “‘Com a sua marca’: Trajetórias e experiências de trabalhadores escravos e livres d pecuária no Brazil meridional.” In Cruzando fronteiras: Novos olhares sobre a história do trabalho, edited by Alexandre Fortes, Henrique Espada Lima, Regina Célia Lima Xavier, and Sílvia Regina Ferraz Petersen, 187–203. São Paulo: Perseu Abramo, 2013.
Perfil dos principais atores envolvidos no trabalho escravo rural no Brasil. Brasília: ILO Office in Brazil, 2011.
Philipps, Nicola. “Unfree Labour and Adverse Incorporation in the Global Economy: Comparative Perspectives on Brazil and India.” Economy and Society 42, no. 2 (2013): 171–96.
Puff, Jefferson. “Racismo contra imigrantes no Brasil é constante, diz pesquisador.” BBC Brasil. 26 August 2015. Accessed 10 September 2019. https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/noticias/2015/08/150819_racismo_imigrantes_jp_rm.
Rezende Figueira, Ricardo. Pisando fora da própria sombra: A escravidão por dívida no Brazil contemporâneo. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 2004.
Rezende Figueira, Ricardo. “A persistência da escravidão ilegal no Brasil.” In Desafios aos direitos humanos no Brasil contemporâneo, edited by Biorn Maybury-Lewis and Sonia Ranincheski, 49–64. Brasília: Verbena, 2011.
Rodrigues Navas Zamora, Maria Helena. “Desigualdade racial, racismo e seus efeitos.” Fractal Revista de Psicologia 24, no. 3 (2012): 563–78.
Rommelspacher, Birgit. “Intersektionalität – über die Wechselwirkung von Machtverhältnissen.” In Feminismus: Kritik und Intervention, edited by Ingrid Kurz-Scherf, Julia Lepperhoff, and Alexandra Scheele, 81–96. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot, 2009.
Sakamoto, Leonardo. Trabalho escravo no Brasil do século XXI. Brasília: ILO Office in Brazil, 2007.
Schwarcz, Lilia Moritz. “Nem preto nem branco, muito pelo contrário: Cor e raça na intimidade.” In Contrastes da intimidade contemporânea, edited by Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, 173–244. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1998.
Silva, Roberto da, and Juliano da Silva Tobias. “A educação para as relações étnico-raciais e os estudos sobre racismo no Brasil.” Revista do Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros 65 (2016): 177–99.
Skidmore, Thomas E. Brazil: Five Centuries of Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Souza, Jessé. Die Naturalisierung der Ungleichheit: Ein neues Paradigma zum Verständnis peripherer Gesellschaften. Wiesbaden: VS, 2008.
Souza, Jessé, and Boike Rehbein. Ungleichheit in kapitalistischen Gesellschaften. Basel: Beltz Juventa, 2014.
Van der Linden, Marcel, and Jan Lucassen. “Introduction.” In Racism and the Labour Market: Historical Studies, edited by Marcel van der Linden and Jan Lucassen, 9–19. Bern: Peter Lang, 1995.
Yuval-Davis, Nira. Geschlecht und Nation. Emmendingen: Die Brotsuppe, 2001.