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Towards a Decolonial, Intersectional, Intercultural Education for Indigenous Girls: Lessons from Wall Mapu (Chile)

GARSIDE, GRACE,ELLEN (2021) Towards a Decolonial, Intersectional, Intercultural Education for Indigenous Girls: Lessons from Wall Mapu (Chile). Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis examines the impacts of intercultural education policies on Mapuche girls’ experiences and identities within the Araucanía region, Chile. In the late 1980s, following wider social and economic transformations in Latin America, intercultural education emerged as a new theory of critical education. However, for the most part literature on intercultural education has focused on the implications of intercultural policy on student’s ethnicity, failing to acknowledge the lived differences between girls and boys and the different ways that ethnicity, class and gender intersect with the Chilean education system. In contrast, this thesis takes a decolonial intersectional approach to understanding intercultural education in order to ensure the experiences of Mapuche girls within municipal institutions are heard. It draws on fieldwork from 2018-2019 within a municipal boarding school in Temuco and ethnographic research with Mapuche girls. Utilising methods of participatory video and indigenous storytelling, I argue that whilst intercultural education initially grew out of indigenous desires for self-determination, it has been co-opted as a state tool that continues to perform a symbolic violence against Mapuche girls. The thesis shows that as intercultural education has moved from theory into praxis, the appropriation of discourses of intercultural education in municipal schools in Chile has reproduced folkloric understandings of Mapuche culture, whilst assimilating students into hegemonic Chilean state identities and citizenships. I argue that the colonial heteropatriarchal norms of the hidden intercultural curriculum encourage Mapuche girls into traditional service roles, whilst their enclosure in Chilean institutional spaces has caused an erasure of Mapuche knowledges, languages and practices. This thesis concludes by examining the ways in which feminist Mapuche activists are attempting to reclaim futures of intercultural education, through an engagement within the pluriverse in which the knowledges and powers of indigenous girls are valued and new ways of thinking about intercultural education emerge.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Mapuche, Intercultural, Education, Girlhood, Identity, Decolonial, Feminism
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2021
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Feb 2021 13:39

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