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Maps for a FiestaA Latina/o Perspective on Knowledge and the Global Crisis$
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Otto Maduro and Eduardo Mendieta

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823263042

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823263042.001.0001

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How Do We Express and Share Knowledge?

How Do We Express and Share Knowledge?

(p.84) 4. How Do We Express and Share Knowledge?
Maps for a Fiesta

Otto Maduro

, Eduardo Mendieta
Fordham University Press

This chapter considers the role of language in shaping and informing our knowledge of reality as well as the influence of what we know on our way of speaking to ourselves and to others about the world. To highlight the connection between language and knowledge, it looks at several of the problems seriously affecting Latin America. It first discusses the relationship between the processes of social domination and a kind of “politics of language” aimed at controlling a community's capacity to grasp and change their own reality. It then reflects on the way silence, the apparent absence of language, can have completely different meanings in different circumstances. It also examines the efforts of oppressed groups to creatively reappropriate language and the ways in which liberation is expressed and developed. Finally, it examines elitism and populism and offers possible alternatives to this apparent polarization, along with the role of nonverbal languages, such as body language and religious symbolism, in relation to knowledge.

Keywords:   language, knowledge, reality, Latin America, social domination, politics of language, silence, liberation, elitism, populism

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