Dissertation Abstracts

Educational Sociology in Brazil (1946-1971): An Analysis of a Catholic Educational Institution

Author: Cigales, Marcelo Pin, marcelo.cigales@gmail.com
Department: Programa de Pós-graduação em Educação
University: Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Brazil
Supervisor: Eduardo Arriada
Year of completion: 2014
Language of dissertation: Portuguese

Keywords: Instruction of Sociology , Historical Sociology , Catholic Church , Normal School
Areas of Research: History of Sociology , Education , Religion


The history of the teaching of Sociology in Brazil is characterized both by the presence and absence of this discipline as a mandatory course in secondary, higher, and normal school. (In the Brazilian context, 'normal school' refers to educational facilities that train future elementary school teachers.) Although Sociology was part of the curriculum in the three levels of education for a long time, there is limited research about how it became part of the normal school curriculum. For this reason, one of the main goals of this investigation is to contribute to our historical understanding of the institutionalization of Sociology in Brazil, specifically in the context of São José’s normal school in Pelotas, between 1946 and 1971 when sociology instruction was mandatory. To better understand what purpose sociology instruction served in the Catholic educational institution, it is important to clarify which teachers, programs, contents, tests, examinations, and course books were used in this period. The theoretical framework falls within the field of the History of School Subjects and engages Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts. This research is primarily based on documentary analysis, along with an extensive literature review. The sources examined consist of a series of documents referring to the school archives and four course books on Sociology written by Fernando de Azevedo and Amaral Fontoura. The main findings show that the teaching of Educational Sociology in the normal school was associated with the theoretical principles of Christian Sociology, thoughts of which relate to the ideals of the Catholic Church in Brazil. Consequently, there was a significant production of Sociology course books inspired by this current of thought, largely represented by the work of Alceu Amoroso Lima and later by that of Amaral Fontoura.