Seca e determinismo: a gênese do discurso do semi-árido nordestino
AbstractThe recent material published in the press concerning Northeast region of Brazil (Nordeste) shows a direct association between the region's low levels of social and economic development and its semi-arid nature. This perspective reveals a deterministic treatment of the matter. This article investigates both the origins and the avatars of such a deterministic view based on the works of the members of Instituto do Ceará, created in 1887. The analysis of this material has shown that, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a group of authors emphasized the climate as a conditioning factor to the region's progress. During the same period, another set of articles describes the previous periods of drought ("secas") accentuating their tragic aspects. Yet they do not establish any direct relationship between the climate and the region's poverty or wealth. In the first half of this century these views were overwhelmed by another one, that identifies the environment and the aridness as the causes of the region's underdevelopment. Since then, this last one has become the hegemonic
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