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Facing Poverty and Marginalization

Fifty Years of Critical Research in Brazil


Edited By Michalis Kontopodis, Maria Cecília Camargo Magalhães and Maria José Coracini

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, theology of liberation, critical sociology, anthropology and ethnomathematics, critical social psychology and discourse analysis. Most of this scholarship has unfortunately been accessible only to the Portuguese-speaking readership. This volume presents, for the first time to an international audience, the novel understandings of critical research that have emerged in this frame. While Brazil is entering 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 usually hardly heard: the helpless, the mentally ill, the landless, the homeless, the voiceless youth, delinquents, indigenous people, the powerless. The volume proposes original theoretical tools and arguments that can inspire social-scientific discussions on facing poverty and marginalization not only with regard to Brazil, but also other parts of the world. It is the first book of its kind in English and a unique tool for undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and specialists across the social sciences.

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Instead of an Epilogue. Youth “in Movement” in Contemporary Brazil: Sharing Intense Moments with José, Carlos, Raquel, and Werá Mirim


This ethnographic narration aims to conclude the volume “Facing Poverty and Marginalization” by taking the reader into various youth worlds emerging in today’s Brazil. The focus refers to young men and women whose everyday lives are currently changing within the context of broader social and political movements. Four scenes of particular emotional intensity are presented. I use these scenes to refer to broader observations about a few of Brazil’s most significant ongoing urban and rural social movements presented in the previous chapters (the Landless Rural Workers’ movement, indigenous movements, movements for the education of urban workers and/or “homeless”, and the National Movement of the Struggle for Housing). My narration is based on observations I made during an ethnographic field research of several months at different places of Brazil in collaboration with local colleagues in 2010 and then again in 2013. These ethnographic observations would not have been possible or accurate without the help and participation as well as the hospitality of many Brazilian colleagues (see acknowledgements) who have been in the various research fields for longer, enabled my access there, and provided me with further data and their views to ensure the validity of my observations.

In response to the arguments presented in the previous chapters, I will briefly explore how these movements conceive youth and education. I will also search for subcultural elements in the everyday lives of the observed young people and highlight modes of resistance to capitalist forms of work and living that...

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