From alienation to solidarity: Educational perspectives and possibilities in Brazil and the UK

Ernandi Mendes, Elenice Rabelo Costa, Spyros Themelis, Sandra Maria Gadelha de Carvalho

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In this paper, we examine how alienation plays out in conditions of advanced neoliberalisation in education. We discuss two examples which exemplify the depth and extent of alienation. First the attacks on critical thinking in education that have been spearheaded by the ‘School without [political] parties’ [‘Escola sem Partido’] project in Brazil. Second, the mental health crisis that is rampant among staff and students in the UK higher education. Drawing on Freire, we explore how ‘the organization of alienation’ can fuel acts of resistance and praxis which can help us reclaim education and society from the forces of the market. The examples we draw on in relation to Brazil and the UK have not yet become mainstream strategies, especially internationally, that can sustain a resistance movement in education, but they form successful local, in some cases national even, strategies that seem to be able to open new possibilities which can eventually help us find creative and effective ways to make the organisation of alienation the project for Being More that Freire envisaged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-589
Number of pages19
JournalBeijing International Review of Education
Issue number4
Early online date29 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • alienation
  • Brazil
  • education
  • Freire
  • Marx
  • praxis
  • social movements
  • solidarity
  • UK

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