9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN12 Environment and Society

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 Discussing the Social Pillar of Sustainability Building I, Auditório J.J. Laginha

Quality of Life and Socioenvironmental Degradation in the Cantareira System Environmental Protected Area, SP / Brazil

The concept of quality of life has been observed in many manners and can contribute to a better understanding of situations where socioenvironmental transformations are evident, not only from an environmental point of view but also from a social, cultural and political aspects. These transformations, based on four analytical categories, are expressed through housing conditions, survival strategies, work opportunities, educational and health services, religiousness and forms of relationship with nature. The establishment of social relationships is also considered and is primordial to the maintenance or building of a satisfactory quality of life. With these conditions in mind, a way to analyze quality of life can be an approach bound to three basic axes of analysis: the first can occur through satisfaction and access to basic needs, such as education, transportation, food, environmentally adequate sanitation, health services, etc., and the quality of access to these benefits; satisfactory collective transportation; and food and salaries that can fulfill the necessities of the individual and his family. The second axis can be analyzed through the access to fundamental conditions complementary to the life of individuals, such as culture, leisure, full satisfaction in affectionate and sexual relations; fundamental family relations; relations with nature; fully satisfactory relations with work; and a third, which is denominated here as an ethical-political benefit because it includes access to information of interest in the life of the citizen, transmitted in a clear and objective manner, political participation and involvement in collective causes; and participation in local management of urban life and citizenship. This paper seeks to analyze the quality of life of the inhabitants of two rural neighborhoods located in Nazaré Paulista and Vargem, respectively Moinho and Lopo, which belong to the Cantareira System Environmental Protected Area, State of São Paulo, Brazil. The two cities analyzed are considered examples of degraded socioenvironmental conditions brought about by the impact of a large enterprise, built in the 1970s, that diverted the regional water resources to Metropolitan São Paulo and that altered the relations of land use in the region, with direct implications on the inhabitants´ quality of life.