What Do Young Brazilian Students Think About Socialism? Class-Consciousness Past, Present and Future




With the fall of the Berlin Wall and neoliberalism, we have witnessed the decline of socialism as an alternative model of society. Drawing on Marxist theoretical categories such as class-consciousness, we wanted to understand what young people from a Brazilian university and a low-income preparatory college course in State of São Paulo think of socialism. In this context, we were interested in understanding how students relate to socialism. The information was collected in a small sample - not statistically delineated - and was qualitatively interpreted and theoretically categorized. The results suggest that are two types of prevailing views of socialism: (1) as a more just society, but utopian, and (2) as a mode of social organization prescribed by a strong state, either positive (tendency to guarantee social rights) or negative (in the form of authoritarianism). While more than half of the participants indicated that they were open to socialist ideas, a number of them were less sympathetic. For many people, both positive and negative elements coexist in parallel.

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