Tese de Doutoramento
The construction of knowledge in post-colonial societies: identity and education over three generations in Mozambique
Xénia de Carvalho (Carvalho, X.);
Reino Unido
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This thesis focuses on the construction of knowledge in the education system in postcolonial Mozambique over three generations of students and how this has impacted on their personal and social identity. The students have a schooling journey from primary education until university in post-colonial Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony that achieved independence in 1975. Each generation is linked to a specific political and ideological period in Mozambique (i.e. 1st generation and Marxism-Leninism or Socialism; 2nd generation and Democracy; and 3rd generation and Global Capitalism or Neo-Liberalism) sharing common experiences and a social memory about the Civil War (1976-1992). Three generations of students in post-colonial societies is underresearched. In order to understand the links between identity and education in post-colonial Mozambique, the processes of knowledge and identity construction are debated in relation to culture as a semantic space. Culture as a semantic space is understood through the everyday life practices and forms of resistance developed by the students inside and outside school environments. In that sense, the spaces of identity and education are addressed critically, knowing that the narratives of education are the outcome of formal (school) and informal (culture) settings. School is addressed in this research through the theories of inequality. The spaces of identity and education are complemented with the particular cultural and historical context and historical constrains that impacted upon each generation, such as the Portuguese colonial period, post-colonialism and modernity, globalization trends in contemporary Mozambique and the education system in Mozambique over the three generations of students. A qualitative methodology grounded in the epistemological position of constructivism was used, and an ethnographic, life history narrative approach adopted. The data analysis of the 18 life histories collected in 2013, complemented with ethnographic techniques, have the purpose of understanding how the three generations define their multiple identities, and if education experiences changed their personal and social identity. The major findings presented are the following: (i) students as ‘critical thinkers’ linked with the socialist pedagogy (1st generation); (ii) formal education has meaning but only because it is the symbol of employment; (iii) the 3rd generation, youngest generation, defend an authoritarian style of teaching and learning; (iv) the centrality of the extended family linked with informal education in the narratives of the three generations; and finally, (v) what seems to appear as a probable trend for the future of education in Mozambique, and probably extended to other contexts of neo-liberal politics, is that the youngest generation does not understand the need for the kind of knowledge that school is transmitting nowadays, a ‘profitable’ knowledge.
To the participants, three generations of Mozambicans from socialism to neoliberalism; University of Brighton for the doctoral research studentship; my supervisors, Professor David Stephens and Dr Carol Robinson; and Linda Mcveigh
  • Ciências da Educação - Ciências Sociais
  • Antropologia - Ciências Sociais
Registos de financiamentos
Referência de financiamento Entidade Financiadora
Doctoral Researcher Studentship (UoB grant), 2012/2016 University of Brighton

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