Structural Violence and the Ordinary Lives of the Poor in Brazil

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Deborah Costa
Sociology: Women and Violence
Due: September 28, 2011

Structural Violence and the Ordinary Lives of the Poor in Brazil

History and Modernization can have its positive and negative effects on society. For the Brazilians in the article, there have been some negative effects. The Portuguese used Brazil as an economic gain for their productivity of sugar as well as many other products. However, having so many plantations increased the need for workers, therefore devaluing the working ethics of the employees in order to get the work done and spending less money. The Import of Africans to increase production made a general statement that all people working in these plantations were Slaves. Once the modernization period came along and everything began to become industrial, these workers lost property and became even poorer. They no longer had the gardens that provided them with most of their food. They now needed to purchase their own supplies and food, which they did not make sufficient funds to support. This brought death as being viewed as a norm due to starvation. Infants usually would not survive past their first year, therefore mothers would neglect them. They saw it as a waste of money to spend if they were going to die anyway. If the baby passed their first year, then they wouldn’t be neglected as much, yet would have to be put through other health risks such as malnutrition. Modernization also developed the separation on social classes. The rich and middle class did not want anything to do with the poor, and viewed them as if they had a disease. The poor were seen as outcasts of society. It was horrifying to read that people thought the poor were as they were because they wanted to be. They did not understand their situation or even acknowledge how much hard work and effort they needed to put forth in order to gain the limited wages they received. The hardships and violence that these Brazilians face is labeled and...
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