Freire 4: Pedagogy of the Oppressed
praxis = reflection and action directed at structures to be transformed
can't undergo transformation for the people, only with the people
importance of dialogue and communication for revolution
turning oppressed as objects into subjects
- used by oppressors on the oppressed in the absence of dialogue
implies conqueror (oppressor) and conquered (possession)
there is an attempt by the conqueror to transform the conquered into a "thing" (167)
present world as problem that must be adapted to
myths presented by oppressors to oppressed through propaganda (ex. TV, radio)
DIVIDE AND RULE
oppressor (minority) must divide up oppressed (majority) to remain in power
ex. "community development", "leadership training courses"
class conflict arises from social divisions
trying to conform masses to objectives of elite
occurs when historical conditions change ("organization" vs. organization)
attempts to anesthetize people so they won't think (thinking = revolution)
ex. welfare programs
oppressors impose their world view, inhibiting creativity of invaded
can be overt or camouflaged (ex. "helping friend")
invaded feel inferior and recognize superiority of invaders
both an instrument and a result of domination
DANGER: effected become causes of domination
revolutionary leaders must initiate "cultural revolution" before actual change can take place
turn objects into subjects through dialogue
- used by revolutionary leaders with the people (directly oppose antidialogical principles)
occurs only among Subjects (those involved in praxis)
only achieved through communication
works through dialogue to achieve authentic adherence (free coincidence of choices)
no one can reveal the world for another
this is in contrast to conquered adherence, where the conqueror prescribes options to the conquered
must involve trust in themselves and in their revolutionary leaders
must involve belief of leaders in the potential of the people, belief that the people are capable of participating in the pursuit of liberation
must involve humility and a capacity to love, especially from the leaders
UNITY FOR LIBERATION
leaders must "dedicate themselves to an untiring effort for unity among the oppressed - and unity of the leaders with the oppressed - in order to achieve liberation"
unity of leadership comes from communion with the people
one becomes a true individual by "sundering the false unity of the divided self." This happens when a person, "begins to integrate as a subject (an I) confronting an object (reality)" (173).
requires class consciousness (consciousness of being oppressed individuals)
revolutionary process must be cultural action (not slogans or myths or mechanistic action which are all divisive action)
methods to achieve unity will depend on historical and existential experience
objective - clarify to the oppressed the objective situation which binds them to the oppressors
Organization is a highly educational process in which leaders and people together experience true authority and freedom, which they then seek to establish in society by transforming the reality which mediates them.
A witness results from cooperation and liberation, exhibiting certain traits that do not vary historically:
consistency between words and actions
boldness urging witnesses to confront existence as constantly at risk
radicalization leading witnesses and those who receive them to action
courage to love transforming the world into a place with increasing liberation of humankind
faith in the people
(theory of dialogical action) organization requires authority, so it cannot be authoritarian; it requires freedom, so it cannot be licentious.
Organization is not only directly linked to unity, but is a natural development of that unity.
Cultural synthesis is a mode of action for confronting culture itself, as the preserver of the very structures by which it was formed.
In cultural synthesis it is possible to resolve the contradiction between the world view of leaders and that of people, to the enrichment of both and resulting in the liberation of human beings.
Distinction between cultural invasion and cultural synthesis:
invasion: actors draw a thematic basis for their actions from their own values and ideology
synthesis: actors coming from another world only seek to learn from the people, not to impose anything upon them
Cultural synthesis does not deny the differences between the two views--it is based on these differences and it DOES deny the invasion of one by the other, but affirms the undeniable support each gives to the other.
Cultural synthesis serves the ends of organization; organization serves the ends of liberation.
The people having trust in their leaders is essential to so many of Freire's tenets (especially for cooperation and unity for liberation). How are people able to ensure that a leader can be trusted, especially given the history of Latin American political leaders?
Near the end of the book, Freire provides an example (p. 183) of cultural synthesis that argues for the workers seizing their own labor, for any purchase or sale of labor is an act of slavery. How is such a conclusion compatible with a capitalistic economic and political system?
Andre's purpose is to reconnect people to their Dignity and Honor in Being Human.