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Cadernos de História da Educação

versão On-line ISSN 1982-7806

Cad. Hist. Educ. vol.22  Uberlândia  2023  Epub 07-Ago-2023 


Intellectual trajectories and Anthropology in Brazil: Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral and Sílvio Coelho dos Santos1

Solange Aparecida de Oliveira Hoeller1; lattes: 6507966351170581

Marilândes Mól Ribeiro de Melo2; lattes: 7641170265582884

Maria das Dores Daros3; lattes: 9237134434652070

1Instituto Federal Catarinense (Brasil).

2Instituto Federal Catarinense (Brasil).

3Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brasil).


The objective of this text is to understand the institutionalization of anthropology in Brazil, through the trajectories of two Santa Catarina intellectuals: Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral and Silvio Coelho dos Santos. The narrative is developed in response to the following questions: How were the trajectories established, what are the approximations and distances between then? To what degree can their actions in the field of education be evaluated as factors of projection for the institutionalization of anthropology? To what degree can these intellectuals be considered as producers of symbolic capital, based on what they proposed and instituted, and what tensions were derived from this? The theoretical-methodological path used the concepts of trajectory, field and capital from the perspective of Pierre Bourdieu, understanding that trajectories result from a system of traits that belong to an individual biography or to a group of biographies, objectified by the relations that are established among the agents and the forces specific to the fields

Keywords: Anthropology; Intellectuals; Trajectories


Este texto objetiva compreender a institucionalização da antropologia no Brasil, por meio das trajetórias de dois intelectuais catarinenses: Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral e Silvio Coelho dos Santos. A narrativa se desenvolve a partir das seguintes questões: Como se constituíram as trajetórias, quais aproximações e distanciamentos entre eles? Em que medida as suas ações no campo educacional, podem ser avaliadas como fatores de projeção para a institucionalização da antropologia, enquanto área específica? Em que proporção estes intelectuais podem ser tomados como produtores de capital simbólico, por meio do que propuseram e instituíram e que tensões derivaram disto? O percurso teórico-metodológico mobilizou os conceitos de trajetória, campo e capital na perspectiva de Pierre Bourdieu, compreendendo que as trajetórias são resultantes de um sistema de traços que pertencem a uma biografia individual ou de um grupo de biografias, objetivadas pelas relações que se estabelecem entre os agentes e as forças próprias dos campos.

Palavras-chave: Antropologia; Intelectuais; Trajetórias


Este texto tiene por objetivo comprender la institucionalización de la antropología en Brasil, a través de las trayectorias de dos intelectuales oriundos de Santa Catarina: Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral y Sílvio Coelho dos Santos. La narrativa se desarrolla a partir de las siguientes questiones: ¿Cómo se constituyeron las trayectorias de dichos intelectuales? ¿Cuáles fueron los acercamientos y distanciamientos entre ellos? ¿En qué medida podemos valorar sus acciones en el campo educacional como factores de proyección para la institucionalización de la antropología como área específica? ¿En qué medida podemos considerarlos productores de capital simbólico? ¿Cuáles tensiones derivaron de esto? El recorrido teórico-metodológico movilizó los conceptos de trayectoria, campo y capital, según la perspectiva de Pierre Bourdieu, entendiendo que las trayectorias resultan de un sistema de rasgos que pertenecen a una biografía individual o a un grupo de biografías, concretadas por las relaciones que se establecen entre los agentes y las fuerzas propias de los campos.

Palabra clave: Antropología; Intelectuales; Trayectorias


This article aims to analyze the training and professional performance trajectories of two Brazilian intellectuals - Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral and Sílvio Coelho dos Santos -, intending to seize the anthropological perspectives defended by them, which contributed to the institutionalization of Anthropology in Brazil, by the particular reality of the Santa Catarina state.

The theoretical-methodological path of this approach sought to answer the following questions: How were the trajectories of Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral and Sílvio Coelho dos Santos constituted, what are the approaches and distances between them? To what extent can their actions in the educational field be evaluated as projection factors for the institutionalization of Anthropology as a specific area, by the teaching and research activities with which they were involved? How were the defenses and conceptions of each established, in relation to anthropology? To what extent can these intellectuals be taken as producers of symbolic capital, through what they have proposed and instituted, and what tensions have derived from this?

For the investigation, the concepts of trajectory, field and capital were mobilized from the perspective of Pierre Bourdieu. Bourdieu (2001) argues that trajectories are the result of a system of traits that belong to an individual biography or a group of biographies, objectified by the relationships that are established between the agents and the forces of the fields themselves. This sociologist thinks of the field as a relatively autonomous microcosm, with specific laws and that it works inserted in the social macrocosm. Understanding a cultural production is not limited, therefore, to referring to the textual content, the social context and satisfying oneself in establishing a direct relationship between them. Bourdieu et al. (2004, p. 20) state that “between these two poles, very far apart, between which it is assumed that the connection can be made, there is an intermediate universe”, which he calls the field. This space is the universe in which agents and institutions occupy differentiated and hierarchical positions that produce, reproduce or disseminate art, literature or science.

When dealing with the literary field, Bourdieu (1996, p. 292) argues that “unlike ordinary biographies”, a trajectory “describes the series of positions successively occupied by the same writer in successive states of the literary field”, which makes it possible to think about the concept of trajectory applied to other fields: political, educational, intellectual, among others, since, for Bourdieu “every trajectory must be understood as a singular way of traversing social space”.

According to the position occupied by the agent within the field, opinions, representations, judgments about the physical and social world are generated. Each agent is recognized for its social trajectory, its habitus and condition. In it - the field- agents create their space and establish objective relations. Such relationships determine what they can and cannot do (BOURDIEU, 2007).

Each field has its "fundamental law", its nomos which grants it property of distinction. When one accepts the point of view that constitutes a particular field, it becomes totally impractical to assume any other that is external to it. The "theses" of the field cannot be challenged because they are founded on legitimate principles of division that apply to all the fundamental aspects of its existence. These "theses" define what can or cannot be thought, what is "prescribed" and "proscribed" and emerge as matrices that do not allow the production of adequate questions to be questioned (BOURDIEU, 2007).

The newcomers who join the field, carry with them dispositions previously constituted within the family group, socially situated and, therefore, enjoy in hypothesis, their demands, whether they are expressed or tacit, their pressures or requests. These beginners are more or less “sensitive” to the signs of recognition and consecration that involves a counterpart in terms of recognition in relation to the order that confers them. There is an original form of illusio that linked to investment in domestic space produces a sublimation that, tacitly, is required of every newcomer. This particular mode of illusio, inherent in belonging to a field, leads to admitting that the game deserves to be played, that it is worth it. It reveals a "disinterested interest and interest in disinterestedness" (BOURDIEU et al., 2004. p. 30).

Bourdieu and Passeron (2014), in the work “The heirs”, demonstrate that the notion of capital emerges as cultural heritage, cultural privilege. Cultural capital is the guaranteed product of the accumulated effects of cultural transmission that is ensured by the family and cultural retransmission, guaranteed by school. At school, its efficiency depends on the importance of cultural capital directly inherited from the family. In the work “The practical sense” (BOURDIEU, 2009), the sociologist shows that similar to economic wealth, which only functions as capital when related to an economic field, cultural wealth in all its forms is constituted as cultural capital in the objective relations established between the economic production system and the production system of producers.

Bourdieu distinguishes species of capital. According to Valle (2008, 104-105), these include social capital, which is related to the durability of a network of relationships or to belonging to a stable group, in which the individual can mobilize their strategies and multiply their capital of origin. Economic capital as a factor of power, possible to be used to reconvert a part of this capital into other types of capital, being linked to the economic, in the strict sense. Cultural capital consists of knowledge, skills and other cultural acquisitions. It exposes the performance inequalities of agents according to their social classes of origin. The linguistic capital that implies the linguistic variety of the dominant group and imposes itself as a mark of prestige: it qualifies the way of speaking and expressing of the dominated. The school capital that emerges as an example of the distinct distribution of the various capitals and contributes to the legitimization and reproduction of positions in the social space and the symbolic capital, which in turn, is represented by the accumulation of prestige and honors. This capital marks the differences and reaffirms the distinction between social classes.

The intellectuals Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral and Sílvio Coelho dos Santos: trajectories that intersect

Bourdieu (2001) states that the position of a given agent in the social space can be defined by the position it occupies in the different fields, that is, in the distribution of the powers that act in each of them, especially in regard to economic capital - in its different species -; cultural capital; social capital; and also symbolic capital, generally called prestige, reputation, fame which is perceived and recognized as a legitimate form of the different species of capital. In addition, with the sacralization of intellectuals, the author indicates to the "(...) Intellectual History a crucial methodological premise: not to separate history from ideas, ideologies, thought from the history of its producers". Given these theoretical circumscriptions, it is important to demarcate the intellectuals trajectories aspects - Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral and Silvio Coelho dos Santos - highlighted in this article.

The intellectual from Santa Catarina, Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral, was born in 1903, in the city of Laguna, (SC). He was involved in various activities related to the areas of medicine, politics, history, journalism, folklore, anthropology, education, some of them earning him honorary titles or deriving in published works. He was a state Deputy (1947/54), president of the Legislative Assembly of Santa Catarina (1954).

Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral, graduated in medicine from the National Faculty of Medicine of the University of Brazil (1929) and was director of the Municipal Hospital of Joinville (SC); directed the Municipal Assistance of Florianópolis; head of the Health Service and Emergency Room of the Passive Anti-aircraft Defense Service, in the middle of World War 2; President of the Red Cross Section in Santa Catarina; 1st Lieutenant of the Health Corps of the National Army; member of the National League; clinical doctor of the civil servants club and the Charity Hospital (IAPC); in addition to practice in their own office (Souza, 1993).

He has published several books in the area of his specialization and in the folklore field. He is the author of A medicina teológica e as benzeduras (Theological medicine and prayers called bezenduras, 1950), Vocabulário do consultório médico (Medical practice vicabulary,1951), A medicina caseira (The domestic medicine,1952), A respeito dos corações e dos pão-por-Deus (Regarding hearts and Bread for God,1949), Os santos nas lendas marítimas catarinenses (The saints in Santa Catarina maritime legends, 1950), Os açorianos (The Azoreans, 1951), Antigos folguedos infantis de Santa Catarina (Old children merriment in Santa Catarina, 1982) and Contribuição ao estudo dos folguedos populares de Santa Catarina (Contribution to popular merriments from Santa Catarina, 1953). Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral intended to publish a five-volume work on the political history of Santa Catarina during the Empire. A few years before his death, he gave up writing the book, because he foresaw the difficulty of publishing such a great work, especially since he had already experienced difficulties in publishing his Nossa Senhora do Desterro (Our Lady of Exile), in four volumes. With the death of Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral, Sara Regina Poyares dos Reis, his niece, was left with the unfinished originals, missing writing 17 years, The Last Of The Empire (Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral had written until 1872). Sara completed it and organized its edition, which. the launch of the work took place in October 2004.

Identified, often, as more active and participant in fields focused on anthropology, history, health, folklore, among others, and less as an intellectual inserted in discussions focused on the educational field. However, locating this intellectual also in the education scenario is justified through the approach established here, since it is, above all, from this place - educational field - that Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral, along with other subjects, established actions that had reflections on the institutionalization of Anthropology, as a specific area.

Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral has well-demarcated incursions in educational discussions, which intersect with other areas of his interest. The beginning of his professional career occurred after the training acquired at the Escola Normal Catarinense (Santa Catarina Normal School, 1919) and at the age of sixteen he began to teach in primary schools in the cities of São Francisco do Sul and Joinville (SC). However, this performance was interrupted, because he enrolled in the National Faculty of Medicine of the University of Brazil (RJ), completing the course in 1929.

In this training path is another insertion in the educational area in articulation with the area of medicine, especially in regard to the theme of hygiene. It is mentioned the participation of this intellectual in the I State Conference of Primary Education, held in Santa Catarina, in 1927, when he was still an academic of the medical course. Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral begins his thesis (n. 39), under the title “The teaching of hygiene notions in the public schools of the state of Santa Catharina”, at the conference, citing the general objectives of the primary school, based on the conclusions approved at the Congress of Primary Instruction held in May 1927, in Minas Gerais. As for the objectives listed in the event cited by Cabral, they were:

To extinguish illiteracy, to teach notions of hygiene, to form the character of the pupils, and to give them civic education. The values, activities and ideas of the primary school consist in the formation of the educated, healthy, industrious people, normalism and solidarity with the order and progress of the Fatherland (SANTA CATHARINA, 1927, P.412).

Another factor that demarcates Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral interest in education is identified by his decision to expand the theme addressed in the aforementioned conference, made effective in his thesis - Problemas educacionaes de hygiene (Educatinal hygine problems) - for his approval in the medical course, in 1929. In this thesis, it deals more comprehensively with issues related to the hygiene of the Santa Catarina people and, at the same time, warns of the impossibilities of seeing preventive measures effective, in this aspect, highlighting the primary school as a privileged locus for this (CABRAL, 1929).

Other arguments made by Cabral were based on the ideas of Belisário Penna and Amaury Medeiros, characters linked to the Brazilian medical, political and educational area, who defended the sanitary and hygiene precepts for Brazil. In addition to the national references, Cabral (1929, p. 31) noted the presence of what he called a “(...) American expert on these subjects" of hygiene: "Dr. Thomas Wood”.

Another action that reflects Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral interest in matters and themes related to education can be evaluated in the work Os jesuítas em Santa Catarina e o ensino de humanidades na província (The Jesuits in Santa Catarina and the teaching of humanities in the province), published in 1940, on the occasion of the 4th centenary of the founding of the Society of Jesus. This publication was part of the proposals of Instituto Histórico e Geográfico de Santa Catarina (the historical and Geographical Institute of Santa Catarina), in which this intellectual participated intensely. Also intensely, Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral dedicated himself to the trades of medicine and health and, in 1952, again the areas of medicine and education intersect in the trajectory of this intellectual. He started as a free professor in the chair of Legal Medicine, in what would be the future Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC).

Souza (1993) comments that, in this educational institution, Cabral established his work at the Santa Catarina Faculty of Philosophy, incorporated into the Federal University of Santa Catarina; he taught the discipline of Santa Catarina History (1958); provisionally, Art History (1960) and, in the same year, he was appointed director of the Historical and Cartographic Documentation Section. In 1961 he was transferred from the chair of Cultural Anthropology to that of Anthropology and Ethnography and, on September 15, he was elected and took office as director of the Faculty of Philosophy Sciences and Letters. He was one of the creators and founders of the Institute of Anthropology (currently, Museu Universitário da UFSC, UFSC University Museum).

The intellectual Sílvio Coelho dos Santos, a participant in the movements carried out through education for the modernization of the state, was born in the city of Florianópolis, State of Santa Catarina, on July 7, 1938. He graduated in History at the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters, Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) in 1960 and, since 1961, was a professor at that institution. Early in his academic life, he worked as a collaborator of professor Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral (1903-1978), holder of the Anthropology chair, assisting him in his classes.

Professor Cabral, as Santos described, “was the intellectual who best designed Santa Catarina, between the late thirties and seventies of the last century (SANTOS, 2016, p. 17)”. Sílvio Coelho dos Santos also accumulated experiences in basic education. He was a teacher at Colégio Catarinense (Santa Catarina School), where he taught History and Geography classes for 5th grade students and also had experiences in primary education, performing the functions of teacher, school group director and pedagogical advisor in the municipal school system, in Florianópolis.

Santos initial experience at the Anthropology Institute was fundamental to demarcate his trajectory, as it led him to a postgraduate course in Cultural Anthropology and Comparative Sociology, in 1962, at the National Museum of the former University of Brazil, in the state of Rio de Janeiro and in which he was guided by professor Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira (1928-2006). Later, he received his PhD in Social Science from the University of São Paulo (USP) in 1972, under the guidance of professor Egon Schaden (1913-1991), from São Bonifácio, Santa Catarina, one of the great names of Anthropology in Brazil. The thesis defended was published with the title “Índios e brancos no Sul do Brasil - a dramática experiência dos Xokleng” (Indians and whites in southern Brazil - the dramatic experience of the Xokleng).

As a university professor, he began his work at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), in 1961, where he was Coordinator of The Graduate Program in Social Sciences, Pro-Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Pro-Dean for teaching (1980-1986), Coordinator of the Masters degree in Social Sciences, head of the Department of Social Sciences and director of the Museum of Anthropology, among other representative activities.

In 1979, UFSC opened for the first time vacancies for the tenured professor tender, and two vacancies were for the Anthropology area, of which one was filled by Sílvio Coelho dos Santos, approved in the tender (SANTOS, 2006). He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Association of Anthropology, of which he was president between the years 1992-1994, emeritus partner of the Historical and Geographical Institute of Santa Catarina (IHGSC) and member of the Board of Directors of the Science and Technology Foundation of Santa Catarina (FUNCITEC). He was an alternate Counselor of the State Council of Education, Regional Secretary of the Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science (SBPC) and was also a member of the Santa Catarina Academy of Letters, where he held the number eight chair.

Before his death in October 2008, Sílvio Coelho dos Santos developed research in the areas of Inter-ethnic Relations, Special Rights and Sociology of Development. He published several books, wrote articles in newspapers, in the Monthly Informative of the Center for Educational Studies and Research - Cepe. This journal was the vehicle for disseminating researches carried out at the institution, in addition to dealing with its daily procedures. In its midst there was the proposal of exchange with other educational research institutions. Cepe developed a system of publications exchange, which allowed the receipt of a large number of works developed throughout Brazil. It also had a Documentation and Information Service that established contact with the Pedagogy Course of the Faculty of Education, for whom it provided the data obtained in the studies and research carried out by Cepe.

He received the title of Professor Emeritus of the Federal University of Santa Catarina, on September 14, 1999, "in recognition of his academic merits and role played in the consolidation of the institution" (author 2, 2008, p. 73).

In 1970, he received the famous II Prêmio Abril de Jornalismo (II Abril Journalism Awards), the result of his collaboration given to a journalist from Editora Abril (Abril Publisher), who came to Santa Catarina to write an article on tourism. In the proximity to Santos, there was an interest in the Indigenous issues of the state and the invitation to write a story about the bugreiros (men hired by the Empire government to exterminate brazilian indigenous people)(GUERRA, 2006, p.11). For the intimacy with the subject and interview conducted with a former bugreiro, which was transformed into a journalistic article and published by Revista Homem (man magazine) in April 1976, the award was granted to Santos. After his death, he received as a tribute through Resolution No. 06/of the University Council of UFSC, on May 29, 2012, the approval of the change of the name of the University Library of the Federal University of Santa Catarina that began to incorporate his name: University Library of the Federal University of Santa Catarina Professor Silvio Coelho dos Santos.

In the trajectory of Silvio Coelho dos Santos, three intellectuals were reference: Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral, Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira and Egon Schaden, for they were "pioneers of anthropology who influenced the course of his career (...) due to the time of coexistence and, perhaps, to personality traits" (GUERRA, 2006, p. 09). The first, without a doubt, left marks that, in a certain way, forged the directions that the intellectual Santos imprinted on his professional career. As a tribute to Cabral, Santos organized the book “Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral”, in honor of the centenary of this intellectual.

Education and anthropology: fields of action of intellectuals and the production of symbolic capital

The dialogue proposed between anthropology and education, in this text, does not meet the possibilities of an anthropology of education, as proposed by Gusmão (2015) and Oliveira (2015) in their studies. Rather, it seeks a proximity between these two areas to understand the trajectory of the intellectuals highlighted in this approach.

Santos (2006) notes that the teaching of Anthropology not only in Santa Catarina, but throughout southern Brazil, began with the creation of the Faculties of Philosophy. The creation of the Faculties of Philosophy took place between the late 1940s and early 1950s. In Florianópolis, was created with the efforts of Associate Judge Henrique da Silva Fontes, in 1951, the Santa Catarina Faculty of Philosophy, which was installed in 1955. In that year, the History and Geography courses made up a single course, becoming independent in 1956. History students, in this context, should attend the disciplines of Cultural Anthropology and General and Brazilian Ethnography. This fact probably strengthened Santos contacts with professor Cabral and, consequently, with Anthropology. With the creation of UFSC in 1960, the Faculty was incorporated under the name of Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters (FFCL), which led to changes in the curricular matrix and distribution of disciplines and started the Chair of Anthropology and Ethnography, of which professor Cabral was Professor.

In Florianópolis, doctor Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral, took over, in 1961, the direction of the Faculty of Philosophy, a position he resigned in 1963, due to disagreements with the faculty and servers. In 1961, Santos was invited by professor Cabral to be a teaching assistant, a position to which he was appointed in March of the same year. This resignation of Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral opened new perspectives for the Anthropology chair, that is, “created conditions for the emergence, in the following decades, of the Anthropology Department and Graduate Programs in Anthropology”, due to y he greater dedication of professor Cabral to the anthropology chair, to the detriment of the administrative activities he carried out as director (SANTOS, 2006, p. 11).

Thus, at the end of 1963, Silvio Coelho dos Santos, with the help of some students, was already carrying out research projects in the areas of Indigenous Ethnology and archeology, . C with a reduced physical space and overwhelmed with empirical materials collected in the research field, but aware “that research activities were essential for the University” (SANTOS, 2005, p. 18). He proposed, together with Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral and Valter Piazza, to the then dean of UFSC, Professor João David Ferreira Lima, the creation of the Institute of Anthropology, while . Santos in parallel, developed research activities in education at Cepe, collaborating for the installation of the Faculty of Education (FAEd).

For the realization of the Institute “there were months of work to detail the proposal, obtain financial resources, renovate the houses, install furniture, buy equipment and organize the work team. In 1968, The Anthropology Institute became a reality", transforming the bays of an old farm, Fazenda Assis Brasil, "into a research and teaching environment", that is, from the bays to the organization of anthropological and archaeological research units (SANTOS, 2005, p. 18).

The Institute has gained prestige in Brazil and abroad, through the development of projects, primarily in the areas of archeology and ethnology, the opening for interns, and the regular publication of the results obtained. Santos, when referring to the archaeological researches conducted in the archaeological sites in Santa Catarina, the Sambaquis (shell mound), consider that such research had "national and international projection" (SANTOS, 2005, p. 16). According to Souza (1993), as director of the Institute of Anthropology, Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral would have brought national and international personalities to teach courses at the University, among which, the American archaeologist Wesley Hurt, and Brazilian professors: Paulo Duarte, Egon Schaden and Roque de Barros Laraia .

Due to the 1970 university reform, the Institute did not survive, because of the concentration of teaching and research activities in the Centers and Departments, being transformed into a Anthropology Museum. This change, for Santos, in a sense, "was the way found to protect the research team and maintain a certain independence in relation to the Sociology Department, where professors and researchers were crowded" (SANTOS, 2005, p. 19).

This reality brought opposition to Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral, as recorded by Souza, about the statements made by him:

Those responsible for the destruction of the Anthropology Institute know that I know them very well and I also know that, often, destroying the work, one forgets the author. It just didn't happen the way they wanted it to! Outside, in other states and even in other countries, the Anthropology Institute is remembered for achievements and publications, courses, and for its creator. This is what remains! (SOUZA, 1993, p. 184).

This fact makes us consider the projection of Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral in his own state, in Brazil and even abroad and the way he defended his actions and sought to demarcate legitimacy to them and to himself. In 1973, Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral retired, compulsorily, from activities at the Federal University of Santa Catarina.

After the university reform in 1970, Anthropology became part of the Sociology Department and Silvio Coelho dos Santos, on this fact, states that it was not without resistance. For him, "the overcrowding and the consequent subordination of teachers to the Sociology Department were a permanent reason for tension, which manifested itself on a day-to-day basis in relations with fellow sociology teachers" (SANTOS, 2006, p. 41). Thus, any proposal for research development, participation in events, and workload distribution needed to be approved by the Sociology Department. To gain space and consolidate itself, the group used some strategies to (re) affirm itself, through actions such as:

Expand external contacts, aiming at the appreciation and recognition of the group. Systematic dissemination of research activities; the realization of extension courses, given by professors from universities in the country or abroad; the dynamization of the internship system for newly graduated students, with a view to their referral to graduate courses; the maintenance of the journal Annals of the Anthropology Museum; and the expansion of contacts with foreign universities (SANTOS, 2006, p. 43).

The members of the anthropology group, of which Sílvio Coelho dos Santos was the mentor, since Cabral was removed, engendered the creation of a specialization course in Anthropology, since 1972, which culminated in the implementation of a specialization course in Social Sciences, in 1976, with concentration in Anthropology and Sociology, the result of a long negotiation, due to the resistance of the latter. Santos, was appointed the first coordinator of this course and, in In 1977, the studies that aimed to transform this course into a masters degree were started, which took place in December 1978, also under the Coordination of Santos and with him also being a member of the collegiate. These movements clarified the question posed since the 1970s, namely: the areas of Anthropology and Sociology should each move in its own direction, which was consolidated in 1987, when the Department of Anthropology was created and, later, the doctoral course was implemented in 1998.

Concomitant to the teaching activities that he developed during his time in the Anthropology Chair, as soon as he returned from his specialization course at the National Museum, Silvio Coelho dos Santos carried out educational research, contributing not only to the organization of the Center for Educational Studies and Research (Cepe), but also to the installation of the Faculty of Education (FAEd), through the creation of the Pedagogy Course. He was still a regular student at the Faculty of Law and the accumulation of responsibilities led him to take time off from college and subsequently abandon the course. For him, the first movements for the creation of the Center for Educational Studies and Research (Cepe) were constituted "in a climate of renewal that was based on government goals, there were resources centered on Plameg I (government goals plan at the time) that could be transferred to this type of project and naturally a will of a lot of new people (...)" (DALLABRIDA, 1997).

In the structure of the Faculty of Education, Cepe constituted the second main element: it preceded the activities of the Degree Course in Pedagogy and had as its main functions: "to conduct studies and research aimed at deepening the knowledge of the educational reality of the state (...)"; "elaborate plans in the educational sector with a view to the Santa Catarina development policy (...)" and "organize a documentation and information service " (Center..., 1970, p. 03). To achieve its objectives, it had the following services: a) Surveys and Research; b) Studies and Planning; C) Statistics; d) Documentation and Information. Cepe can be considered, in regard to the production of research in education, as a “game changer”, since it printed a scientific thought to deal with educational issues.

Silvio Coelho dos Santos (1968. p. 13), worked together with a team headed by Maria da Glória Matos, in the implementation of Cepe. After that, he was assigned to “organize the technical team that would compose the Survey, Research and Investigation Service of the aforementioned Center” (SANTOS, 1968. Q. 13). In this institution, he was the director (1966/1970), a researcher, took on the functions of a technician, and was also responsible for teaching courses in Educational Research Methodology and General Sociology. He developed research in education, having as practice the social-anthropological analysis, tonic of his formation, contributing significantly to the configuration of the educational field of Santa Catarina, through his productions on the subject.

From his insertion in Cepe, Silvio Coelho dos Santos (1968, p. 13) began “a permanent contact with the problems of education in the state”. His participation in this institution, to a large extent, was guided by his experience in the municipal primary education sector, through the different functions he performed in it. The many questions about the complex educational system that prevailed in the state and the organization of the state society itself, is what made him convinced of the need to establish a deep analysis of these situations. Thus, when he was still a pedagogical coordinator in the city of Florianópolis, he developed, in 1964, the research “A zona Rural da Ilha de Santa Catarina - aspectos econômicos, sociais e culturais” (The rural area of the Santa Catarina island - economic, social and cultural aspects), his first experience as a researcher.

When analyzing the data collected in this research, Silvio Coelho dos Santos (1968, p. 14) perceives “direct connections between the educational activities developed by the municipality and the political-partisan mechanisms in force”, linking the success of education directly to the party affiliations of the canvassers of different localities, reaching the extreme that the child school attendance depends on the link of his parents with certain political parties.

In addition to this aspect, Santos (1968, p. 14) notes that “the administration of the municipality itself was carried out unrestrictedly according to partisan objectives”, which, for him, was the reason for many problems of the municipal education system. When he began his incursions into Cepe, the educational issues pertinent to the state of Santa Catarina became, due to the global development plan in force (Plameg I), the target of studies and research of the team directed by him.

The similarities between what was happening in the municipality and in the state was unleashed, making it impossible to understand the educational problems, disconnecting them from the political-partisan issues. For Santos (1968. p. 15) this link between party politics and education was personal, peculiar to areas in which the socioeconomic and cultural framework was underdeveloped, lacking modernization, which is justified by the plan that intended to "promote the population socioeconomic development".

For him, the education system precarious situation was not a privilege of Santa Catarina, but the “empiricism” of education administrators was a serious obstacle on the path of modernization, as well as of the state. The urgency in planning the educational sector was shown by its traditionality, selectivity and by offering students a conception of the world “inconsistent with the objectives of the dynamic, complex and democratic society that is gradually being installed in the state and in the country. Therefore, the education offered is more an obstacle than an agency that promotes change” (SANTOS, 1968, pp. 20-21).

The ability to criticize, to confront, is not projected only by his social origin, but by the position of the group to which he was linked. On the other hand, the social condition and its network of relations was not relegated to the detriment of his political engagement. Throughout his professional career, he built a social network that left him in a privileged position in society, however this is not a sui generis condition to belong to an intelligentsia. On the contrary, his social nonconformity, which led him to engage in a political cause, in the desire to transform not only the indigenous cause (his great challenge), but society in general, placed him in this condition. Thus, his intellectual condition was not “dictated by any objectively occupied position on the social scale, but by the perceived or experienced discrepancy between, on the one hand, the desired society, from a certain world view, and, on the other, society as it presents itself, the real society”, according to what Martins understands (1987, p. 69).

In this perspective, two of his most significant contributions to the educational field were: "activate and clarify the bases that have the duty to sponsor the emergence of the first State Plan of Education (SANTOS, 1970, p. 07), being at the head of the team of technicians of the Cepe, diagnosing the perverse conditions that corroded Santa Catarina education and also the holding of the State Colloquium for the Organization of Education Systems (Ceose), an instrument of action of the Ministry of Education".

Final considerations

In their trajectories, Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral and Silvio Coelho dos Santos showed themselves competent to create their own images, in addition to the competence to operate with the word, with the discourse, occupying "(...) socially valued places in the press, in the state, in educational institutions and in cultural circles" (VIEIRA, 2006, p. 6). Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral and Silvio Coelho dos Santos - in the sources consulted and also for their intellectual Productions and/or their influence or political action - can be identified as men of culture, letters, politicians, teachers.

Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral, in addition to practicing medicine, held prominent positions related to this area, such as public positions and representativeness in various instances. He was a State Deputy (1947/54) and president of the Santa Catarina Legislative Assembly (1954). He was part of entities linked to culture, including the Brazilian Historical and Geographical Institute, the Santa Catarina Historical Institute, Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, Bahia, Paraná, the Peruvian Association of Folklore, the Santa Catarina Academy of Letters, Piauí and Paraná; the Santa Catarina Folklore Commission and other national and foreign cultural institutions. He carried out activities related to journalism and was excellent in leaving his marks in his various printed works, dealing with a variety of topics that covered history, politics, folklore, anthropology, education.

Sílvio Coelho dos Santos demarcated his thinking, particularly in the academic field. However, his initiation and projection as an anthropologist and intellectual was demarcated by the educational field. In the early 1960s, when he contributed to the implementation of (Cepe), the Pedagogy Course and the Faculty of Education (FAEd), institutions that served as foundations for the creation of the University of Santa Catarina State. He invested in the production of articles on the educational theme, starting to publish them in the newspaper O Estado and, later, in the Cepe Monthly Informative, constituting part of the collection that makes up the book “Um esquema para a Educação em Santa Catarina” (A scheme for Education in Santa Catarina), which came to light in 1970. Before, however, in 1968, he had already published the book “Educação e Desenvolvimento em Santa Catarina” (Education and Development in Santa Catarina), the result of research developed in the area of education, even before assuming the post of director of the Cepe. Santos published a total of twenty-four works and more than seventy scientific articles, articulated with anthropology, such as the work Integração do Índio na sociedade regional - o papel dos postos indígenas de Santa Catarina (integration of the Indian in regional society - the role of the indigenous posts of Santa Catarina) (1970).

The social mission of Silvio Coelho dos Santos, from the 1970s, was to disseminate the indigenous cultures present in Santa Catarina state, dividing himself between academic life and fieldwork, projecting and “defending” the rights, especially educational, of these cultures in his main academic productions. We reiterate that he did so, from the practice of disseminating academic writings that analyze their cultures, without direct involvement with party affiliation, but especially through the Nucleus of Studies of Indigenous Populations (NEPI), which he coordinated at UFSC and in which he guided several masters and doctoral studies.

It is considerable to demarcate the educational field, through its own places and actions, which presents itself as a possibility for intellectuals to project to other positions within and outside the field itself, since, as Bourdieu (1996) argues, the educational field cannot be interpreted as autonomous. Rather, understood in articulation with other actions performed by intellectuals and articulated to other fields. Thus, among the places occupied by intellectuals, the educational field was highlighted here, which allowed them to be projected in other projects, such as the one defended about anthropology.

Still as an academic of the medical course, Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral made his foray into the educational field. He participated in the first State Conference of Primary Education, held in 1927, in the capital of Santa Catarina - Florianópolis -, presenting a thesis on principles of hygiene and health. He invested in works dealing with educational aspects, in a historical perspective that reveals his efficiency in dealing with issues, intersecting several areas.

In the 1950s, his insertion in the Federal University of Santa Catarina positions him again with the exercise of teaching, which had been left on the sidelines due to his involvement with other actions that ranged his trajectory. It was from this place that some attempts related to anthropology were made, as it was also in this university (UFSC) that their relations with other subjects who shared the project proposed by Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral, about anthropology, were strengthened. Among the subjects with whom Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral strengthened ties, was Silvio Coelho dos Santos. He also worked as a teacher in courses related to basic education and shared teaching at UFSC with the former, as already clarified.

It is possible to interpret the beginning of the institutionalization of anthropology as a specific area, not only in the state of Santa Catarina, but also in Brazil, from the actions implemented by Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral and Sílvio Coelho dos Santos, within the Federal University of Santa Catarina. The actions of the aforementioned intellectuals, in the educational field, can be evaluated as projection factors for the institutionalization of anthropology as a specific area, by the teaching and research activities with which they were involved. Through these actions, it can be considered that intellectuals conquer a certain hegemony of their ideas and the monopoly of this production, occupying places in a prestigious institution (UFSC).

These considerations allow us to perceive them as producers of symbolic capital (BOURDIEU, 2001) and that they simultaneously expressed the interests of the ruling classes and the interests of the intellectuals who fight for the production monopoly of symbolic capital. Understood symbolic capital as prestige, reputation, occupation of prominent places in multiple scenarios. A form also perceived and recognized as legitimate and distinct from the other types of capital - economic, cultural and social -, through what they proposed and instituted, in addition to the possibility of identifying them as precursors of the area of anthropology, not only at UFSC, in the state of Santa Catarina, but also in Brazil.


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1English version by Ana Clara Cajueiro Alves de Araújo. E-mail:

Received: June 14, 2022; Accepted: September 19, 2022

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