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Multicultural Brazil in the BRICS Countries: Potentials for the Social Sciences and Humanities

Special Issue


This study argues a case for multiculturalism as a possible approach for addressing the complexities of societies such as the BRICS, taking Brazil as a case study. It contends that knowledge derived from such a study can benefit Social Studies and Humanities worldwide, particularly considering that cultural diversity has been increasingly present due to globalisation, internationalisation and growing mobility of groups of people, including refugees all over the world, requiring new epistemologies and narratives in research. The paper firstly analyses the concept of multiculturalism, discussing its perspectives from more liberal approaches up to more critical, postcolonial and decolonial perspectives that focus on the challenge of prejudices that operate in terms of control and denial of pluralism. It discusses the multicultural composition of the population of Brazil as a BRICS country, analysing its main geographical and population characteristics. The main focus of the paper is to delve in the ways that Brazilian educational policies have been trying to address both international standards and the valuing of cultural identities and equity-oriented approaches that are inclusive and multicultural. It particularly focuses on the National Plan for Education and of the recent project for higher education institutions (called “Future-se”). Finally, it concludes by pointing out tensions and possibilities of such Brazilian endeavours in the context of the BRICS countries. Such a study may be relevant comparatively, hopefully providing reflections for new epistemologies and the potential value of these for the Social Sciences and Humanities.


Key words: multiculturalism; Brazil; BRIC countries; new epistemologies; Social Sciences and Humanities.



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