The Urban and the Rural Poor in Brazil
The political orientations between the urban poor and the rural poor in Brazil are different in many ways. In this case, the political orientations are addressed in terms of integrated set of beliefs and attitudes of the poor Brazilians living in the rural areas and urban areas. The characteristics of political orientations inn Brazil are demonstrations, social movements, involvements of people in political aspects like vying for any post in the government or in the local organizations, and distribution of resources like land, social amenities like education, medical care and financial institutions. This study will be guided by a thesis statement stated as; the political structure in Brazil adversely affects the rural poor more than the urban poor. This study will address the activities that the poor people living in rural and urban areas in Brazil undertake that are politically oriented. In doing this, the comparison and contrast of the political orientations of the urban poor to that or the rural poor in Brazil will be analyzed (Schlosser & Kersting, 2003).
In Brazil, the political structure demonstrates a democratic Federal Republic with a government system which is well organized liker that of the United Sates of America. After the abolishment of monarchy in Brazil the first constitution established a presidential system that comprises of executive, judiciary, and legislature powers. Presently, there are 26 states in Brazil and one federal district. The structure of government in each and every state represents the ruling of the central government. Since the time Brazil attained independence, there have been a lot of political and social issues that have led to imbalance in development. In this case, there is advancement in terms of development in urban areas than the case in rural areas. As a result of this, the urban poor are able to get information through reading the newspapers or listening to radios on what is going on within the government. This knowledge has made them to get involved in political issues than the case in rural areas (Hodne, 2004).
One way that indicates how the rural poor are affected by the structure of the government is the aspect of land distribution. The concept of land owning in Brazil is an indication of prosperity and social class. Notably, Brazil government is said to be among the governments in the world that have ever distributed land unevenly. This is because 20% of the rich people in this country own 90% of the total amount of land in Brazil. In this case, the rural poor people who have no land in Brazil are heavily affected by the structure of government. This is because the poorest 40% own only 1% of land. This has made the rural poor to avoid engaging in political activities as they do not have power or authority. According to Handelman (2008), the challenge that faces the developing country is equal distribution of resources between the rich and the poor. The Brazilian case is a good example of this challenge especially in the year 2003 when 1,000 landless rural poor marched 112 miles in Brasilia supporting the government for planning to settle landless families (Handelman, 2008).
It is true that the rural poor are more affected by the government structure as the rural poverty is twice as high as urban poverty. This indicates that even though the urban poor are also affected they are better positioned in terms of wealth and property possessions. There political movements among the rural poor in Brazil like the Landless Workers Movement that tries to fight for the rights of the rural poor in Brazil. Additionally, in terms of education there is a great difference between the quality of education in rural and urban areas. The urban poor even though they are not able to attend the best schools in urban areas, they attend other schools which are better off as compared to those of the rural areas. In this case, the thesis of this study is supported by information that indicates that the rural poor are adversely affected as they receive very low quality education as compared to the urban poor. In this case, the urban poor are capable of being more informed than the rural poor as their teachers are more qualified than those in rural areas (Weyland, 1996).
The social amenities provided by the government in the rural areas are wanting. In this case, since the people living in rural areas in Brazil are the poorest in the country, they are not provided with adequate and quality medical care as what is provided in the urban areas. The political structure in Brazil has forgotten the rural poor by not providing the required social amenities to the people. The urban poor even though are not able to afford the best quality medical care they are provided with more quality care than those in rural areas. When developments are being initiated in the urban areas, even the urban poor get some of the advantages as they are somehow recognized by the government. This is because the rural poor in Brazil are landless and their salaries are too little to sustain them (Schlosser & Kersting, 2003).
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