PGDR Courses (mandatory and optional)

Family Farming and Rural Development

Agriculture in rural development and the part of ways of production and non-capitalist work. Peasantry, peasant societies and family farming from a multidisciplinary perspective. Family farming in contemporary society: compared perspectives. Modernization of agriculture, social differentiation and economy of agriculture, agricultural styles. The State and the public policies that affect Family farming and rural development. Forms of organization and collective actions by farmers in the rural environment. Ruralism, pluriactivity and territoriality. Family farming and peasantry in Brazil. Issues of gender, generation and social reproductions in family farming. Family farming, agribusiness, agri-food systems/regimes and rural development.


Agriculture and Sustainability A

The environmental issue and development: evolution, anthropic factors for environmental unbalance (extinction, destruction of natural habitats and climate changes) and scenarios for Planet Earth; Evolution of agriculture: determinant ecological factors, crisis and perspectives; Presentations of agroecology; Sustainability theoretical bases – eco-systems and agro-eco-systems; Schools of ecological agriculture; Transitions towards a sustainable agriculture – experiences and public policies; Food safety vs. Food sovereignty. The issue of biotechnologies. 


Food and Culture as an Approach for Rural Studies

Food and culture. Study of theories and approaches regarding the practice of socio-anthropologic investigations of social phenomena in the rural world. Introduction to anthropology of peasantry.


Assessment and Control of Environmental Impacts

Environmental Assessment regarding the rural. History of the environmental subject. Theoretical-methodological bases in the perspective of environmental analysis. Criteria for the assessment of environmental impacts. Methods and techniques for assessing environmental impacts.


Food, Markets and Consumerism

Introduction to the main theoretical approaches of food sociology that study the modern food system and the relationships between food, health and environment from a political and social point of view. The process of disconnection from the food-supply chain, its complexification and the fact that it is controlled by the distribution and by big food empires. The different crises and cracks of the productivist model regarding public health, environment and society. Social tendencies of protest with the creation, operation and development of short chains of supply and its immersion in specific values and social practices; the part of consumerism and consumer in directing supply chains and in designing new relationships and agricultural models. Local chains and the involvement of culture, territory and other attributes in differentiating and qualifying food products as opposed to standard products in a global scale.  The part and the influence of the State and of public policies in determining agri-food models. Food Safety and Nutritional policies and the different positions of the State in relation to facing income inequality and nutritional, social and environmental issues.


Social Anthropology of Environmental Conflicts

The approaches of the main theories for understanding and analyzing contexts in which the environment is at the center of dispute; critically comparing the possibilities and gaps between different theoretical perspectives; mobilization of the theoretical perspectives in relation to several problems and empirical objects of analysis. Environmental sociology: from rural to environmental; Modernization, risk and disaster; Environmental justice and Eco-politics; Environmental conflicts and environmentalization; Ecologic epistemologies; Biodiversity; Environment and big development projects; Dams, mining and petrochemical complexes; Climate change: the Anthropocene, Gaia, international negotiations and conflicts.


Inter-organizational Arrangements and Strategies for Rural Development

Formation of inter-organizational arrangements and analytical contributions of the Economic and Organizational Theories. Study of the inter-organizational arrangements from three perspectives: relationships of sectorial interdependency (productive chains, agro-industrial systems and forms of coordination); organizational strategies (networks, supply chains, short chains); and location of productive agents (clusters and local productive systems). Strategies for inter-organizational arrangements geared towards rural development.


Environmental assessment in the rural issue

History of the environmental subject. Theoretical-methodological bases from the perspective of environmental analysis. Criteria for the assessment of environmental impacts. Methods and techniques for assessing environmental impacts.


Knowledge, Innovation and Socio-technical Transitions in Agriculture

The relationship between knowledge and development. Modernization, technological development and the rural world. Universalization of knowledge and the cognitive plurality related to agricultural work. Social action, interface and knowledge. Innovation and inventiveness in agriculture. Focus on socio-technical transitions. Constructing multi-level, multi-aspect and multi-actor approaches for the analysis of socio-technical trajectories in agriculture.


Rural Development I

Social sciences and development. Sociology and anthropology of development. Institutions, actors and development processes. The part of the State and the civil society in development. The issue of rural development in Brazil. “Environmental issue” and (rural) development. Ethnic and development issues.


Rural Development II

The ideology of progress and development. Late capitalism: from developmentalism to neoliberalism. Capitalist development: technical progress and rural environment. The Brazilian agrarian issue: historic review of the discussion. Brazilian economic and agricultural policies. International economic and agricultural policies. Different representations of nature and development. Society and nature in contemporary social theory. Development, techno-science and sustainability.


Development and Food and Nutritional Safety: Integrated Practices of Teaching, Extension and Research in the rural world.

Food and Nutritional Safety as an integrative subject, analyzed through disciplines (thematic axes) from empirical contexts of Rural Territories. The part of research, in its theoretical and applied dimensions, in strengthening development processes and, specially, rural development, for guaranteeing Food and Nutritional Safety.


Inequalities and Social Differences in the Rural World

Analysis of the social dynamics from the perspective of inequality and social differences, focusing on the rural world and referenced by the main theories and authors, both classical and contemporary. Social stratification from a point of view that is conceptual, historic and operative in the Brazilian society, especially the rural one.


Dynamics of Capitalist Development and Brazil

2.1 The ideology of progress and development; 2.2 Transfiguration of richness; 2.3 The emergence of urban-industrial Brazil: slums and urban subsistence economy; 2.4 Late capitalism: from developmentalism to neoliberalism; 2.5 Generalization of urban spaces: developmentalism and urban-metropolitan spaces; 2.6 Neoliberal city vs. Democratic city; 2.7 Increased slumming in socio-developmentalist Brazil and slumming around the world; 2.8 Contemporary issues of development: environment, demographic change and persistence of inequalities.


Ethnoecology and Socio-environmental Management

Ethnoecology as an approach in the interface between the scientific fields in social and natural sciences and their contribution for analyzing the environmental issue and rural development. The management of biological diversity: prospects of preservationism, conservationism and socioenvironmentalism. Traditional populations and their relation to biodiversity management, emphasizing the indigenous, quilombola and artisanal fishermen issues. Ethnoconservation and environmental management: sociocultural systems, management of natural resources and shared management. Legal frameworks and ethnoconservation instruments. Methods of preparation of Plans for the Management of Conservation Units and Environmental Markets. Ethical principles in Ethnoecology research.


Evolution and differentiation of agrarian systems

Concepts and application of the systemic theory for the study of complex agrarian realities. The systemic approach of the Agricultural Production Unit. Study of agrarian systems and their approaches. Origin, evolution and differentiation of agrarian systems: from the neolithic to the industrial agriculture of the 20th century. Agriculture in some regions of Latin America and their historic evolution. Characterization, evolution and differentiation of agrarian systems in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.


Political-cultural mediations in the rural world

The space of mediations from contrasting epistemological perspectives. For a sociology of the trajectory of mediators and their engagement logics. Trajectories, strategies and political-cultural practices in mediating public policies for development.


Markets, Institutions and Strategies for Rural Development

Concepts and characteristics of agricultural and agro-industrial markets. Government intervention. Topics of Institutional Economy: Transaction Costs Economy, New Institutional Economy, Contracts and Property Rights. Market structures and Strategic behavior. Agro-industrial systems and chains and productive arrangements.


Qualitative Methodology

Theoretical bases for qualitative research. Theoretical approaches in qualitative research. Researchers and their objects in qualitative research. Technical modalities of qualitative research: characteristics, possibilities and limits. Qualitative data analysis. Quality of a qualitative research.


Quantitative Methods

Organizing data and descriptive statistics: frequency distributions, location and variability measures. Inequality and concentration measurements. Probabilities and distributions. Statistic inferences, confidence intervals, parametric and non-parametric tests. Student t-test, F, ?2, and ANOVA. Multivariate analysis: covariance, correlation and regression analysis. Problems of estimation in regression models. Analysis of temporal series and index numbers. Factorial analysis and cluster analysis.


Problematizing Rural Development: Issues and Contemporary Perspectives

The rural world in the South of Brazil as an empirical universe for problematizing rural development. The different methodological perspectives for approaching the diversity of the rural world. Multidisciplinarity. Social mediation, intervention and participation in rural development. Reflections about issues: gaps and guidelines for contemporary research on rural development.


Decisive Process and Management of Units of Family Agricultural Production

Study of the decision-making process with the goal of managing and planning production units for family farming production, approaching this process from a systemic point of view, observing stages, influential factors, models, criteria, methods and support techniques, and the information-decision context.


Teaching Practice I

Specified on the Teaching Plan of the course the student is taking.


Seminar for Multidisciplinary Research on Rural Development

Multidisciplinary research on Rural Development and the structure of research projects – Introduction, problem, justification, hypotheses, objectives, theoretical approaches, methods, empirical field and chronogram.


Technoscience, Nature and Development

The relationship between society and nature. Social sciences, society/development and the environmental issue. Realist, constructionist and post-constructionist social approaches to environmental issues. Science, technique and nature. Socialization of nature and manufactured uncertainty. Society at risk. Ecological modernity and sustainability. Environmental conflicts. Modernity and (post)colonialism in the study of society-nature. Ethnoconservation. Socio-environmentalism and environmental justice. (Agricultural)Biotechnologies as fact, power and discourse. The issue of sustainability in development. Global environmental changes.


Theory and Practice of Scientific Research A

Examines the process of elaboration of human knowledge. Deals with issues related to science in general, paradigms and models for explaining reality. Proposes and discusses scientific methods in its creation, classification and different uses. Presents scientific research and its constitutive parts, and also research techniques and the main types of research used in scientific research and the search for knowledge. Proposes the elaboration of a dissertation project.



The goal of the course is to discuss the rural structural tendencies in Central America, showing processes connected to several dimensions: a) Characteristics of the agricultural structure and configuration of the main classes of agricultural producers (both companies and family-based), observing processes of concentration of land, smallholdings and the emergence of different levels in family farming; b) Populational tendencies, including persistence and changes in fertility rates, migrations and work articulations; international migrating processes to countries from Central America, to the USA, Canada and Europe, with its two basic characteristics: working-age people leave rural areas and receivement of shippings that alter the conditions of reproduction in rural homes and specific segments of the property; c) Peculiarities of national cases. Countries from Central America have had many aspects in common with Brazil, regarding the historic importance of production and exportation of some agricultural products and the existence of a broad sector of small peasant producers, including indigenous sectors that practice subsistence agriculture. But the political trajectories and the economic dynamism in agri-business, and other sectors, over the last decades, have some differences that are important in order to understand tendencies in rural sectors. This is the case of countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras e Nicaragua. d) The discussion will be centered in showing different structural tendencies and how they operate the changes in public policies for agri-businesses, with emphasis on the peculiarities from these four particular cases. Emphasizing themes like concentration of land and production; noticeable decrease in the national production of basic food products; smallholding processes and the persistent of peasantry poorness; the emergence of some sectors that could be seen as family farming; all this connected to strong processes of emigration to foreign countries, including layers of the population from indigenous and rural origins.


Special Topics on Contemporary Approaches on the Agri-food System

Agri-food system from a historic perspective. State, globalization and conformation to the world system. Regimes of capitalist accumulation, Fordism/post-Fordism and economic regulation. Governance of global chains of value and global production networks. Quality, differentiation, certification and standards. Networks, conventions and institutions in agri-food markets. Family farming and conventional and alternative markets. Localized food systems, shorts chains and alternative food networks. Transnationalization, food empired and new imperialisms. New global agri-food regimes. Transnationalization of agricultural social movements.


Special Topics on Rural-Urban Relationships and Development

Origins and the generating dynamics of non-agricultural activities. New approaches of development in the context of a rural-urban relationship. Non-agricultural policies as a way of incorporating the notion of multifunctionality of spaces. Types of symbolic representation of the rural world by the urban world. Experiences of congregation of the rural-urban relationship (rural tourism, urban agriculture, etc.).


Special Topics on the Analysis of Public Policies for Rural Development

Definition of public policy; public policy cycle; construction of a public agenda; ideas, beliefs and interpretations of the world when constructing a public agenda; actors and their interests regarding State interventions; institutions and their opportunities and resistances; public policy networks; public policy transference and its issues; creating politicies based on evidences.


Special Topics on Rural and Health: Sharing Themes

The subject presents a critical look over rural and health, as well as over the processes of local development from two broad groups: thematic fields and approaches. On the first axis, starting off from different “looks” about the idea of rural, issues regarding health, diseases, care, violence, gender and work are discussed. On the second axis, the subject problematizes issues regarding the environment, work and interfaces between development, health and public policies.


Special Topics on Institutions and Agroindustrial Governance

Interpretation and analysis of agroindustrial configurations. Understanding the markets, their logic, bases and contradictions; institutionalism and contractual governance; new institutional economy and rural development.