4242 - Intersectional inequalities of access to higher education in Brazil: the "cursinho" industry as a factor

Titulo em português: Desigualdades interseccionais de acesso ao ensino superior no Brasil: a indústria de "cursinhos" como um fator. (This paper can be presented in English or in Portuguese, to be decided with the convenor. If abstract is required in Portuguese, please let me know. / Esta apresentação pode ser feita em inglês ou português e isto pode ser decidido com o convenor. Se o resumo for necessário em português, por favor me avise). This paper examines access to higher education in Brazil and its intersectional inequalities. Historically, factors such as class, race, gender, and schooling background have been determinant of one's chances of accessing more prestigious public and private universities in Brazil. The presence of a growing and profitable industry of preparatory courses ("cursinho") for the Brazilian university entrance exam "vestibular" contributes to one more access barrier, which is informed by the four intersectional factors above. The case study of the "cursinho" industry in the city of Goiânia, capital of the state of Goiás and holder of the highest Gini coefficient of Latin America, uses field surveys and in-depth interviews with students and “cursinho” representatives to demonstrate how "cursinho" institutions are perceived as a determinant factor to access public universities and have contributed to educational inequality and the social reproduction of middle and upper classes. This issue is examined through a critique of neoliberalism and its impact on the Brazilian education system. It is complemented by a theoretical lens grounded on a Gramscian-Freirean synthesis that uses Marxist critical pedagogy to unveil the roots of the social reproduction of the elite in Brazil.

Keywords: education, Brazil, social reproduction, intersectional inequality

Author: Fernandes, Sabrina (Carleton University, Canada / Kanada)


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