Table Of Contents
- About the author(s)/editor(s)
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- (Post)Critical Global Studies: A Note from the Series Editors
- Introduction: Fifty Years of Critical Research in Brazil
- A Long History of Critical Research …
- The Present Volume: A Glimpse into Brazilian “Margins”
- 1. Life at the Landfill: Portraying Exclusion and Resistance in the Documentary Estamira by Marcos Prado
- Theoretical Background: French Discourse Analysis
- The Context: Rio de Janeiro and the Documentary
- Scene One: Mission
- Scene Two: Vision
- Scene Three: Religious Discourse
- (In-)Famous (Mis-)Fortunes: Estamira’s Resistance
- 2. Struggling for Housing: The November 20 Occupation in Porto Alegre
- History of the National Movement of Struggle for Housing (MNLM)
- Setting the Scene of the November 20 Occupation
- 2014 FIFA World Cup: Mega Events and Democracy
- Coexistence and Dialogue as Methodological Foundations for Action Research
- Empowerment and Struggle
- Final Considerations: The Broader Sense of Popular Education
- 3. Educating in Itinerancy: Countryside Life and Novel Forms of Schooling
- Schooling in the Encampment
- Itinerant School and Countryside Education
- Fighting for Legal Recognition
- Outlook: Current Issues and Challenges
- 4. Indigenous Children and Identity Politics: Numeracy Practices among the Kaiabi from Xingu, Mato Grosso
- The Kaiabi at Xingu Indigenous Park
- Numbers for the Kaiabi Math Book
- Indigenous Schooling and Identity Politics
- 5. “Special” and “Normal” in Students’ Voices: Meaning Production at a State-Funded School in Campinas
- Cultural Development as Appropriation of Social Practices
- Methodological Issues: Signs, Words, Discourse
- Exploring School Practices: Our Empirical Field
- Situation 1: “Special” within the Institutional Setting
- Situation II: The “Normal” Conditions of Living
- Overview and Open Questions
- 6. The Dis-order of Discourse: Young People Confined in CASA (São Paulo) and a Poet Considered Insane in Colônia Juliano Moreira (Rio de Janeiro)
- “Living” in CASA
- “There is No Time to Lose”
- Post Mortem Poetry by Stela do Patrocínio
- Outlook: From Infamy to Resistance
- 7. In-Famous Cyberhomelessness: The “Homeless” Writer Tião Nicomedes
- “Homeless” Subjectivity
- Tião: The Writer, Blogger and “Homeless” Person
- A Different Easter …
- Final Considerations
- Instead of an Epilogue. Youth “in Movement” in Contemporary Brazil: Sharing Intense Moments with José, Carlos, Raquel, and Werá Mirim
- José at Escola Porto Alegre
- Carlos at a Settlement of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement at Espírito Santo
- Raquel at an Occupied Housing Project of the National Movement of the Struggle for Housing (MNLM) in Porto Alegre
- Werá Mirim in a Guarani Community
- Outlook: Social Movements, Affective Scapes and Outside Politics
- Notes on Contributors
- Series index
It is a great pleasure to introduce the book series (Post)Critical Global Studies with the publication of its first volume, Facing Poverty and Marginalization: Fifty Years of Critical Research in Brazil. As Brazil enters a new phase of socio-economic and political turmoil, distinguished representatives of the various critical research traditions from all over Brazil explore the voices and practices of those who are considered powerless: the helpless, the mentally ill, the delinquent, the landless, the “homeless”, the voiceless youth, and the indigenous. In parallel, the volume offers an international audience a first-time glimpse into the new theoretical understandings produced by the critical research that has emerged over the last fifty years in Brazil, such as Freireian pedagogics, critical sociology, ethno-mathematics, critical social psychology, and discourse analysis.
We hope that this volume constitutes a first step into establishing a vibrant exchange of ideas between Latin America and the rest of the world on contemporary social issues, so as to explore the possibilities for the local and global social change that is the broader aim of this series.
Márcia Aparecida Amador Mascia,
Silvia Grinberg & Michalis Kontopodis
A Long History of Critical Research …
A long history of poverty, discrimination, colonialism, and struggle for social justice has provided, over the last fifty years, the context for the development of a vast amount of critical scholarship targeting marginalization in Brazil: Freireian pedagogics, ethnomathematics, anthropology, theology of liberation, critical sociology, critical social psychology and discourse analysis. Most of this scholarship has unfortunately been accessible only to the Portuguese-speaking readership until now. The volume you hold in your hands presents, for the first time to an international audience, the novel understandings of critical social research that have emerged in this frame. While Brazil is entering a new phase of financial crisis and socio-political turmoil, distinguished representatives of these various critical research traditions from all over Brazil explore, in original pieces of work, written for an international readership, the voices and practices of those who are usually hardly heard: the so-called helpless, mentally ill, delinquent, landless, “homeless”, voiceless youth, indigenous, powerless.
If one would try to create an overview of Brazilian critical scholarship since the 1970s, one would, of course, end up with a very long list of names and references – an endeavor which is beyond the scope of the present book. Without promising an overview, but just a glimpse of this vast intellectual territory, the present volume presents and discusses timely empirical data ← 1 | 2 → within the above-mentioned broader traditions formed during the last fifty years in Brazil. Building on previous publications that explore Brazil in terms of history, economy, education, social dynamics, and racial politics (Brock & Schwartzman, 2004; Hanchard, 1999; Kontopodis, 2009; Reiter, 2009; Souza & Sinder, 2005; Woolcock & Gacitua-Mario, 2008), our volume takes a closer look at its excluded and marginalized people and their everyday lives, experiences, and struggles.
Our edited volume draws on the different schools of critical research that have been generated in Brazil since around 1960. Social and intellectual movements emerged at this time when poverty, illiteracy, and significant deficits in housing and public health prevailed in agrarian communities as well as in the outskirts of large Brazilian cities. These deficits were deeply rooted in the colonial history of the Brazilian state, and created and sustained a huge difference between the richest and poorest. A crucial turn with regard to these issues took place in the years 1961 to 1964, when civil and student associations as well as workers’ unions began gaining space and power in a context of intensified struggles for social justice under President João Goulart’s government (1961–1964).
These emerging social movements were causes of great concern for the conservative political forces in Brazil and in the other countries of the American continent. It was feared that a shift to the left would take place in Latin America’s largest country and a military coup took place in 1964 and aggravated in 1968, under the allegation that there was a communist threat against the state. This led to the dictatorship that lasted until the presidential election of Tancredo Neves, in 1985. After the military coup, freedom of speech and political organization became almost non-existent. Political parties, workers’ unions, student associations, and grassroots organizations were abolished or interfered with by the government, and many of their members were arrested, tortured, killed or exiled. All of the media were repressed by censorship. A series of Institutional Acts put into practice censorship, political persecution, suppression of constitutional rights, and the repression of those considered opposed to the military regime.
However, this time also marked the commencement of Brazilian critical theory and research. Paulo Freire’s (1921–1997) work on popular education and on the liberating and empowering pedagogy of the poor and oppressed ← 2 | 3 → was central in this context. Paulo Freire stated in 1958 at an Educational Congress in Rio de Janeiro that adult literacy education should be directly related to the everyday life of the workers, and that workers needed to critically understand their reality in order to actively participate in social and political life so that broader social changes could occur. A decade later, the writings of Paulo Freire portrayed the poor as disadvantaged and made poor by the economic and social relations that oppressed them (Freire, 1970). These writings also portrayed the poor as producers of types of cultures distinct and different from the dominant ones, and as social transformational forces. According to Freire, the liberation needed to be a result of the struggle of the oppressed themselves, or it would not be true liberation.
These discussions on the need for critical engagement as fundamental to personal and social transformation were also the basis for Liberation Theology, a counter-movement within the Catholic Church with Leonardo Boff (1938–) as its most well-known representative. Liberation Theology set as its objective the transformation of the poor along with the struggle to improve their quality of life (Boff, 1971, 1972). Both Liberation Theology and Freireian pedagogy were influenced by Marxist thinking and pointed to the centrality of dialogical and dialectical relations for the constitution of human beings, as well as for the establishment of collective forms of organization in the fight against authoritarianism, oppression, poverty, and illiteracy. Both approaches took critical reflective education as a point of departure for liberating praxis. In this frame, by becoming aware of their own history and the current conditions of social, cultural, and economic inequality, human beings could strive towards a revolutionary struggle for liberation, i.e. towards overcoming the dehumanization that inequality and injustice imply. Both approaches revolutionized their relevant areas of scholarship: Liberation Theology by conceptualizing a liberating praxis in which religion and ethics were seen as central forces for critical reflection and awareness; Pedagogy of the Oppressed by redefining the theoretical and methodological foundations of educational practice on the basis of dialogue and critique, especially with regard to adult literacy.
While the church provided at least some limited protected space for Boff to develop the theology of liberation, in 1964 Freire was arrested, imprisoned for about seventy days, moved from jail to jail, and then forced ← 3 | 4 → into exile with his wife and their five children. The seeds for critical research had, however, already been planted. About a decade later, in 1974, moderate forces within the military brought General Ernesto Geisel to the presidency. Geisel initiated the so-called abertura (political opening), a series of reforms that gradually allowed limited political organization and local elections. The legal opposition party, the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), began to win important elections, and in 1979 General João Baptista Figueiredo declared a general amnesty for all political crimes since 1964. He also allowed exiles – including Paulo Freire – to return to Brazil. Figueiredo released the last few political prisoners, and official censors finally left the pressrooms and television studios. He also issued guidelines for the formation of new political parties, and for an open election of governors in 1982.
Within this atmosphere of political openness, critical approaches across a wide range of disciplines were introduced. Eni Puccinelli Orlandi introduced the so-called French School of Discourse Analysis by Michel Pêcheux in the late seventies (Orlandi, 1976), an important line of critical research that still flourishes in Brazil today. The notion of language as opaque, polysemous, marked by incompleteness and Otherness has been central here (cf. Furlanetto & de Souza, 2006; Coracini, 2007). At the same time, Marxist and critical approaches became dominant in psychology and sociology through the circulation of original and translated words from France or Germany, such as the Anti-Oedipus by Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari (translated and published in 1976 in Brazil), the collection Os Pensadores (“The Thinkers”), which included the translated texts of Benjamin, Horkheimer, Adorno, and Habermas (published in Portuguese by Editora Abril Cultural in 1975, cf. Benjamin et. al., 1975), or the Groupes, Organizations, Institutions of Georges Lappasade (translated in 1977).
Furthermore, the socio-cultural psychological school of Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky, Alexei Nikolaevich Leontiev, and Alexander Romanovich Luria provided another significant source of scholarship, primarily through access to translated works from Portugal and the US (cf. Prestes & Tunes, 2012). The book Psicologia na Educação by Claudia Davis and Zilma de Moraes Ramos de Oliveira (1980) could be mentioned here as one of the first publications in this direction, which was followed by a long list of scholarly works in social and educational psychology (for ← 4 | 5 → an overview cf. Pino & Mainardes, 2000). On these fertile grounds the “psychology of the oppressed” emerged, as pointed out by Ana Bock & Odair Furtado (2006, p. 510):
The development of political consciousness becomes an important topic, as the influence of Paulo Freire (1921–1997) is sizable during this period. The radical pedagogy, the freedom of teaching, and the pedagogy of the oppressed influenced the practice of psychology and prompted a form of psychology of the oppressed. Hence the discovery of Vygotsky, who took consciousness as an object of study, was a high point for the theoretical scholarship to substantiate the academic production. (translated from Portuguese by the editors)
Around the same time anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro was publishing his first book on so-called Amerindian perspectivism (1986), while ethnomathematics – a new field of educational research – was emerging (Ascher, 1984; D’Ambrosio, 1985, Ferreira, 1988). This new field of research focused especially on the social, historical, cultural and political dimensions of mathematical knowledge.
- ISBN (PDF)
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- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Softcover)
- Publication date
- 2016 (September)
- Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2016. VIII, 158 pp., 6 coloured ill.