The Era of Dichotomies: Immigration and Discourse in Brazilian Schools

Main Article Content

Szilvia Simai
Rosana Baeninger


Aims: The study aims to map out the way Brazilian school workers discursively construct images of contemporary immigrants in Brazil. It intends to describe and analyze how in their discourse they move back and forth between a negative and a more sympathetic imaginary when talking about the presence of contemporary immigrants in the country.
Study Design: Case study.
Place and Duration of Study: The study took place in a public school in the town of Cosmopolis in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. The school is called E.M.E.B. Educator Paulo Freire. It is situated in Sete de Abril, street number 649, in the district of Vila Damiano, where the interviews took place during August 2011.
Methodology: Eighteen Brazilian school workers from the above-mentioned school participated in the three-part study. They filled in a questionnaire, which consisted of 19 thematic closed-ended questions. The completion of this questionnaire took approximately 15 minutes, and then they commented on four news articles, which took another ten minutes, and each of them participated in an interview, which lasted between 40 and 50 minutes. Discourse Analysis was applied to the collected material.
Results: The empirical material shows the oscillation of participants between a desire for a hardening of immigration control on the one hand, and an empathetic view in talking about immigrants on the other.
Conclusion: Participants think and talk about contemporary immigrants in dichotomies. The dynamics of these dichotomist discourses reveal that the dichotomies essentially involve an inner fight between what the speaker considers to be good and bad, and that they project this onto the immigrants.

International migration, empathy, denial, Brazil, education, discourse

Article Details

How to Cite
Simai, S., & Baeninger, R. (2012). The Era of Dichotomies: Immigration and Discourse in Brazilian Schools. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, 2(2), 162-173.
Case study