Social inequality and human development: Intertwined cycles of perversion in education in contemporary Brazil

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Naomar de Almeida Filho


In this paper, a conceptual framework on the sources and origins of inequalities in education is presented, focusing the Brazilian contemporary context as a case-study of a paradox: reduced economic inequality in parallel to increasing inequities in education. To understand this apparent contradiction, first the Brazilian taxation structure is outlined as a intricate, regressive and unfair system organized for collecting economic revenues for funding the State. Secondly, the social and political inequities that affect and thus define the educational structure of Brazil is discussed to reveal the perverse effects that turn education into a major asset for the general reproduction of society. Finally, such paradoxes and contradictions in the field of education are analyzed as strategies for maintenance and reproduction of a social order based on social inequalities and inequities.

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Part I: Network for Excellence in Higher Education (NEHE): The case for a new type of "excellence"