At the cutting edge: precarious work in Brazil's sugar and ethanol industry

Brian Garvey, Maria Joseli Barreto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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The late geographer Milton Santos interpreted the changing Brazilian landscape as a dynamic social product of work, both past and present. What happened at each specific site was affected by previous practices and by their link to the globalized systems into which these sites were incorporated. 'Space', he wrote (1978, p.138), 'is a witness to a moment in the mode of production in these concrete manifestations; it is where some processes adapt themselves to pre-existing forms, while other create new forms that are inserted'. His words resonate across the swaying stands of sugarcane, blood red soils and cloudless skies surrounding the biofuel refinery in Brazil's Sao Paulo State where we base our study of precarious work in the production of sugar-derived ethanol.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeoliberal Capitalism and Precarious Work
Subtitle of host publicationethnographies of accommodation and resistance
EditorsRobert Lambert, Andrew Herod
Place of PublicationCheltenham
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2016


  • labour
  • Brazil
  • ethanol


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