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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project


Latin American and Latino/a Studies


Women employees-Political activity-Brazil, Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra (Brazil), Labor movement-Brazil, Socialism-Brazil-History-21st century, Brazil-Economic conditions-21st century, Feminist anthropology, Sec role, Brazil, Landless Workers Movement, Latin American social movement, Feminist ethnography, Gender roles, Contemporary socialism


This study explores the role of women within the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra, or Landless Worker's Movement, (MST) in Northeastern Brazil. It focuses on a case study of Lima family women within the Paus Branco community, part of the 25 de Maio settlement in the state of Ceará. Dona Maria Lima, the matriarchal head of this family, serves as a community leader within Paus Branco and as co-founder of the MST settlement. With the goal of better understanding the roles and perceptions of gender identity across generations and as it relates to a larger dialogue of gender roles within the MST, this study conducts a multi-generational oral history using five primary sources composed of Lima family women. The first chapter looks at the history and perceived current state of gender roles in each of these women's lives through a gendered retelling of the community's inception, while the second considers possible discrepancies between theory and practice within these communities' dialogues on gender roles. The third chapter explores the language these women use to express their opinions regarding female liberation.




66 p. Honors Project-Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 64-66)