Critical Constructionist Theory in the Human Sciences
Edited By Jennifer Sarah Cooper
In these crooked times of chaotic and contradictory discourses in every social sphere, from politics to food production, "ideology" has become the buzzword to represent some solid structure on which to cling or under which to recoil, in an effort to understand reality. But how this structure is built and what it ultimately upholds – this is a primary focus of the Human Sciences. In this book, the author argues that in the Human Sciences, from its founders to contemporaries, a common premise is apparent: the fundamental property of all human-social reality is its character as something constructed. Through a vast set of analyses and reflections of his own, and by philosophers, psychologists, psychoanalysts, sociologists, anthropologists, neuroscientists and linguists, the author shows how this premise, applied, which he coins as critical constructionist theory, constitutes the fundamental theory of the Human Sciences. The book also traces how the main development of this theory gave rise to critical deconstructionism – philosophical, sociological, and anthropological – as an analytical procedure in contemporary studies and research, valid in discussions on culture, ethics, human rights, gender, sexuality and ethnicities. Understanding the role ideology plays in this construction, then, is key to liberation from oppressive conceptual structures of reality. This book exposes that role.
Preface: Revoking the Ideology of the Far-right in Brazil
Revoking the Ideology of the Far-right in Brazil
In order for the oppressed to be able to wage the struggle for their liberation they must perceive the reality of oppression not as a closed world from which there is no exit, but as a limiting situation which they can transform.
— Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (2000: 49)
When I first sat down to write this preface, Brazil was entering a watershed moment. Or perhaps finding itself on the edge of a precipice. The first round of the presidential elections had been won, with just over 46 percent of the vote, by far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, a man whose inflammatory rhetoric mobilizes fascist groups and those who hail the return of the military dictatorship. He has defended the use of torture, expressed sympathy for Brazil’s past military dictatorships, supported laws that take away labor rights and said that women should earn lower wages than men. He frequently makes homophobic, misogynistic and racist remarks, for example, saying that beating children is the best way to avoid them becoming homosexuals (and that he would rather his own son be dead than gay); that he wouldn’t rape Maria do Rosário, a representative in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies and member of the Worker’s Party, because she wasn’t “deserving” enough; and that there was no “risk” of his children marrying persons of African descent because they had been “brought up well”. Bolsonaro’s official pre-election political...
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