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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Ontological oppression and the privatization of public potential: indigenous counter-hegemonic adaptation in São Paulo, Brazil Ferrari-Nunes, Rodrigo


This study focuses on an analysis of the counter-hegemonic discourse of Guarani indigenous leaders Timóteo Verá Popyguá and Marçal de Souza, focusing on the strategy of envolvimento (involvement) with the larger capitalist world as a means for achieving cultural survival and autonomy. The core idea of this study is how the 'privatization of public potential' can be employed both for and against initiatives that foster the strengthening of indigenous ways of knowing and relating with the land. I argue that, in order to subvert private property and the domination of space for capitalist production, envolvimento seeks the privatization of lands for the Guarani, who will develop this parcel of land according to their own cultural principles. Counter-hegemonic adaptation, in this case, requires a deep understanding of dominant practices and ideologies, and the desire to take part in the larger economy. Ultimately, I argue that the negative effects of neoliberalism can be diminished by making more private spaces communal.

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