“I Am Illiterate. But I Am a Doctor of Capoeira”: Integration of Marginalized Youth in Brazil

  • Karin E. Sauer


The present chapter deals with the Afro-Brazilian martial art Capoeira. Capoeira incorporates two dimensions of social learning in heterogeneous societies: a political and a psychological dimension. In terms of politics, Capoeira can be seen as a social movement, as it originally was invented by African slaves as a self-defense strategy, concealed by dance, music and rituals. It remained illegal until the 1930s, when its cultural value was officially approved and began to gain (inter-)national importance. Psychologically, Capoeira can be regarded as an individual coping strategy, when facing adverse conditions in general, and specifically as a means of overcoming social exclusion.

The research question is: Which strategies of social learning, given in Capoeira, are used by young people that are subject to social exclusion today, in order to succeed in social ascension? The results are illustrated by examples from the research project Trajectories of Integration in the Process of Education (TIE) carried out in South Brazil in 2006 and 2007.

The findings are related to the psychological dimension of Capoeira. Its elements physical exercise, music and song are described as potential resilience factors that may promote social inclusion.


Social Learning Social Exclusion Social Inclusion Informal Learning Resilience Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fakultät für Sozialwesen, Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State UniversityDuale Hochschule Baden-WürttembergVillingen-SchwenningenGermany

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