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

Main Article Content

Ana Ivenicki


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.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ivenicki, A. (2020). Multicultural Brazil in the BRICS Countries: Potentials for the Social Sciences and Humanities . Space and Culture, India, 7(5), 14-22.
Themed Issue
Received 2019-09-09
Accepted 2020-04-08
Published 2020-05-08


Aman, R. (2017). Colonial Differences in Intercultural Education: on interculturality in the Andes and the decolonization of intercultural dialogue, Comparative Education, 61 (S1), S103 – S121.
ANPEd – Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Educação (2017). A Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Educação (ANPEd) e a Base Nacional Comum Curricular (BNCC), a_anped_e_a_bncc_23.08.2017.pdf
Assié-Lumumba, N. T. (2017). The Ubuntu Paradigm and Comparative and International Education: epistemological challenges and opportunities in our field, Comparative Education, 61, (1), 1 – 21.
Banks, J. A. (2004). Introduction: Democratic Citizenship Education in Multicultural Societies. In: J. A. Banks (Ed.) Diversity and Citizenship Education. San Francisco: John Willey & Sons, Inc. 3-15.
Brazil (2014). Presidency of the Republic, Ministry of Education, Plano Nacional de Educação – 2014/2024 (National Plan for Education). Retrieved on 4 September 2019 from,
Brazil (2017). Ministry of Education, Base Nacional Comum Curricular (Brazilian National Curricular Guidelines for Basic Education). Retrieved on 4 September 2019 from,
Brazil (2019). Ministry of Education, Programa Future-se (Program “Prepare Yourself to the Future”). Retrieved on 4 September 2019 from,
Canen, A. (2011). Boosting Immigrant Student Identities in Brazilian Schools: towards a multicultural framework for teacher education. In: Vandeyar, S. (Ed.), Hyphenated Selves: immigrant identities within education contexts. Amsterdam: Savusa/Rozenberg/UNISA Press, 149-164.
Canen, A. (2012). Brazil; lifelong learning and the role of University in Brazil: some reflections. In: Slowey, M. & Schuetze, H. (Eds.). Global Perspectives on Higher Education and Lifelong Learners. London: Routledge, 266 – 278.
Castles, S. (2004), Migration, Citizenship, and Education. In: Banks, J. A. (ed.), Diversity and Citizenship Education. San Francisco: John Willey & Sons, 17 – 48.
Ivenicki, A. (2015). Adult Education and Cultural Diversity in Brazil: national policies and contributions of higher education. In: Milana, M. & Nesbit, T. (Eds.). Global Perspectives on Adult Education and Learning Policy. 1ed.Londres: Palgrave MacMillan, 60-72.
Ivencki, A. (2018). Multiculturalismo e Formação de Professores: dimensões, possibilidades e desafios na contemporaneidade, Revista Ensaio, 26 (100), 1151- 1167.
Ivenicki, A. (2019). Education Reform in Brazil: multicultural reflections. In: Ornelas, C. (Ed.), Politics of Education in Latin America: reforms, resistance and persistence. Series: Comparative and International Education: A diversity of voices, V. 49. Eds. Pitman, A; Pereyra, M.A. & Majhanovich, S. Leiden: KoninklijkeBrill NV, 101 – 115.
Magno, A.B.& Melo, K. (2019). Projeto de Lei Preocupa Reitores e Mostra Pior Face do Future-se (Project of Law worries Rectors and shows the worst side of the Future-se), Jornal da ADUFRJ, 19/07/2019, Federal University of Rio de Janeiroo Edition, 3.
Niens, U., & Chastenay, M.H. (2008). Educating for Peace? Citizenship Education in Quebec and Northern Ireland, Comparative Education Review 52(4), 519-540.
Stein, S. (2017). Challenges of Addressing Epistemic Dominance in Higher Education: considering the case of curriculum internationalization, Comparative Education, 61(S1), S25 – S50.
Steyn, H. J., Wolhuter, C., Vos, D., de Beer, L. & Ivenicki, A. (2018). BRICS: A “Road and Belt” for South African Researchers in Education to be Involved in Impact-Making Research. In: Wolhuter, C. (Ed.), Raising the Impact of Education Research in Africa. Cape Town: AOSIS(Pty), 285 – 308.
Warren, J. & Canen, A. (2012). Racial Diversity and Education in Brazil. In: Banks, J. A.(Ed.), Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education, Washington DC: Sage Reference, 1, 262 – 265.