Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 6, No 2 (2010)

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Education as Resistance in Literary Criticism and Journalism: Between Professionalization and Democratization of Literature

Nathalia Jabur


Professionalization and political engagement are usually placed as incompatible in the case of journalism and the mainstream press, resulting in an identification of cultural resistance exclusively with alternative/amateur vehicles. I will use the concept of journalistic field as introduced by Pierre Bourdieu to review these assumptions and discuss a form of political resistance that acts in one’s own area of knowledge, is not overtly political and whose effects are not immediately accountable for.

Drawing examples from my research on two literary newspapers published in the 1950s in Brazil and Uruguay, this paper will focus on the implications of didacticism for literary criticism as a genre of newswriting. The analysis of these newspapers will lead to a reflection on two main issues: a) the conflict between the professionalization and democratization of literature; and b) the definition of resistance as necessarily an action that is against something. The article will reconsider education in journalism as a form of resistance, taking into account its risks of becoming political indoctrination and commercial manipulation, but emphasizing its potential as a way of expanding access to literature.

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