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Title: Intellectuals, knowledge and power
Author: Lima, A. F. O.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2000
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Through an analysis of three different periods in Brazilian history and a study of discourse and knowledge production in the field of education, the thesis aims to disclose the relationship between produced knowledge and the implementation of effective change in the Brazilian education system. Firstly, using the work of Gramsci, Foucault and Bauman, the thesis examines the concept of intellectuals in order to grasp the functions and roles played by intellectuals in different historical and social contexts. In addition, discourse analysis is used as a reference to understand the net of knowledge-power production and its relation with three loci or systems: academia, civil society and the state. These two elements constitute the theoretical support for undertaking the historical analysis in the thesis. Secondly, with specific reference to education, the thesis proceeds to a historical study of intellectuals in Brazil, showing how the colonial and neo-colonial structures based on the dominance of the European and US metropolis have left a deep mark on national consciousness. It argues that intellectuals were not only formed in Europe and the United States of America, but also that their knowledge production is undertaken within a paradigm constituted by exogenous models. Consequently, intellectuals of education, in particular, are not aware of the requirement for a suitable re-interpretation of theories in order to meet Brazilian social and educational needs. Thirdly, the thesis shows how educators are grounded in this circle of reproduction of exogenous models and how their subordination to them has increased, without ever managing to take into account Brazilian cultural reality. One example used, the subordination to models from the USA, shows how this has been increasing quickly since the 1960s, leading to almost the totality of national investment in post graduate studies being made in US universities. Finally, the thesis investigates three different historical periods in Brazil during the 20th century to disclose the visible and the invisible discourse of Brazilian educational thought and how the structures and mechanisms of power are organized in Brazilian society. These structures of power and knowledge have led to a dramatic situation in the Brazilian educational system which can, still, be ranked among the poorer countries of the world, in spite of having a relatively advanced economy. The thesis argues that the ideas produced by the educational intellectual establishment do not get into practice largely because they do not achieve answers to Brazilian needs or have a specifically Brazilian cultural identification.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available