Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Theresa McCormick


My dissertation research study examined how women in the Brazilian landless movement used the ideas of Paulo Freire to develop a literacy program that could help them in their fight against gender oppression in a settlement located in the southern part of Brazil. It addressed how a Freirean-inspired program could help women to use their lives as sites for personal and social change inside the settlement, in the movement, and the Brazilian society.;For this study, I interviewed four white women ranging from 30 to 40 years old. I first looked at how my participants viewed gender issues inside the settlement and then described the literacy program we developed. In describing the literacy program, I discussed how my participants' views about gender issues shaped the literacy program we started in the settlement.;The results of my study showed that a feminist approach to qualitative research studies as well as the ideas of Paulo Freire can be of great help to women in the Brazilian Landless movement advance the discussion of gender in the settlement and consequently advance democracy in the country. I also concluded that these two frameworks can be of great significance for feminist researchers to reflect upon our lives as women and citizens.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Claudia Cristina Mendes Giesel



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

175 pages