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ERIC Number: EJ960615
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 74
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
Beyond Acculturation: Political "Change", Indigenous Knowledges, and Intercultural Higher Education in Mexico
Perez-Aguilera, Dulce Abigail; Figueroa-Helland, Leonardo E.
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v9 n2 p268-296 Nov 2011
This article critiques the evolution of higher education in Mexico in light of the political "change" that led to the establishment of Intercultural Universities (IUs) for Indigenous communities. We argue that the "change" touted by the post-2000 regime isn't as profound or beneficial as claimed. Although IUs embody valuable efforts, they unwittingly reinforce Indigenous subalternization, foster cultural segregation, and ghettoize Indigenous knowledges. The case of IUs in Mexico illustrates two unsatisfactory global trends in educational politics. First, the popularization of a bland "multiculturalism" that allows only restricted pockets of epistemic and cultural development for historically subordinated and disadvantaged groups without challenging or transforming the hegemonic political and educational system(s). Second, an incomplete "interculturalism" that is unilateral, not bilateral: on one hand, historically subjected and marginalized groups are allowed to teach their languages, knowledges, and cultures, but are also expected to teach the languages, knowledges and cultures of the dominant group(s); on the other, no major change is expected from hegemonic political, educational, and scientific systems which stay largely immune to the transformational influence of knowledges, practices, cultures, and institutions of hitherto subalternized groups. Bland multiculturalisms must be overcome by critical, proactive, fertile and bilateral interculturalisms that challenge power-relations, redress historical injustices, and cultivate epistemic reciprocity. (Contains 4 tables and 17 footnotes.)
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico