A Brazilian Perspective on Mindsets, Digital Practices and Tools for Social Action In and Out of School
Edited By Eduardo S. Junqueira and Marcelo E.K. Buzato
Chapter 1. New Literacies in the Context of Brazilian Historical Social-economic Inequality: Past, Present, and Future Trends Eduardo S. Junqueira & Marcelo El Khouri Buzato 1
Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen theorized the concept of inequality as related to life quality, i.e., not being restricted to income or access to goods, but also including one’s self-esteem and opportunities to participate in community life (Therborn, 2001). The Human Development Index includes criteria such as life expectation, access to formal education, and individual-based income. More recent debates, rising from Scandinavian theorists, have broadened the concept of inequalities to include various variables, such as nutrition, access to health services and to education, family relations, and culture (Therborn, 2001). Notions such as technology-based social inclusion (Warschauer, 2004), or digital inclusion, are supposed to address the various dimensions of inequal- ity in such a way that eliminating inequalities is not mistaken for overriding differences (Buzato, 2009). Despite the fact that Brazil is now deemed the sixth largest economy in the world, the country still has one of the worst levels of wealth distribution among all nations, a fact with historical roots that go back to Brazil’s exploita- tive, slavery-based Portuguese colonization. In spite of recent improvements, insufficient access to health services, quality education, and cultural goods is a recurrent challenge for the majority of the population in the new “Global · 1 · New Literacies in the Context of Brazilian Historical Social-economic Inequality Past, Present and Future Trends EDUARDO S. JUNQUEIRA & MARCELO EL KHOURI BUZATO Junqueira_t3 contrib 9/9/2013 8:49 AM Page 1 Brazil,” as we are now called. In short, inequality—be it social, economic, or cul- tural—has been, and continues...
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