Rebecca Tarlau

in Occupying Schools, Occupying Land

Published in print August 2019 | ISBN: 9780190870324
Published online June 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780190870331 | DOI:

Series: Global and Comparative Ethnography


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  • Sociology of Education
  • Social Movements and Social Change
  • Political Sociology


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Chapter 6 analyzes the MST’s engagement with public schools in Ceará in the late 2000s, in a very different context, when the movement’s educational initiatives are already recognized nationally. During this period, MST activists in Ceará win access to four high schools in their settlements, specifically designated as escolas do campo (school of the countryside). Chapter 6 shows how the national context, while not determining of regional trajectories, directly influences local relations between movement activists and local state officials. More specifically, a conservative government in Ceará agrees to work with the MST due to increasing external pressure. In contrast, São Paulo was able to deflect this national advocacy, illustrating that high-capacity states can still override the influence of national trends. This chapter also shows the evolution of the MST’s pedagogical practices and what the MST’s contentious co-governance of public education looks like in the contemporary context.

Keywords: Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST); Ceará; escolas do campo; schools of the countryside; Educação do Campo; Education of the Countryside; contentious co-governance; boomerang effect; agroecology; state capacity; São Paulo

Chapter.  14459 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology of Education ; Social Movements and Social Change ; Political Sociology

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