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How to include? The debate on prejudice and stigma in our days

The purpose of this article is to help widening the discussion about Inclusive Education beyond its usual parameters. One of the pivoting points of that discussion is the issue of the prejudice surrounding those regarded as "different". In this article, we propose that, in addition to prejudice, we should also consider the current forms of stigma. The point of departure is given here by Goffman's already classic analysis, renewed by Zygmunt Bauman's propositions. An "invisible" group - because surrounded by secrecy - that inhabits school classes is that formed by children and youngsters who went - or are still going - through the incarceration of one of their parents. In Brazil, the "stigma" associated to the offspring of convicts can be traced back to the 19th century through the dissemination of crime theories, largely originated in Europe, underlying eugenic and hygienist policies. The educational discourse incorporated these conceptions and for decades endeavored to salvage individuals already "genetically vitiated" or influenced by their family and social environments. This is the group studied here in an attempt to understand how they operate under the stigma surrounding them, and which is actualized in the way their images are fixed and merged to the criminal figures of their parents. As a result, we have lives marked by ambivalence: they give rise to the figure of those "indefinable", of the "strange ones". How should we treat this group in an inclusive proposal? What are the possibilities and limitations of educative action in a society in which stigma seems to be revitalized? These are some of the reflections this article tries to introduce.

Inclusive education; Convict's offspring; Stigma; Human rights; Prejudice


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