Social Imaginary and Social Representations of Brazil

  • Ângela Arruda Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Keywords: imaginaries, social representations, Brazil, mental maps


The image of the country has been an issue in Brazil since it became a nation (1822). This
text will present some research aimed at understanding the change of social thought
referring to Brazil. The theoretical concern were the dynamics of SR, their transformation,
and images: How and when do hegemonic representations, which are an important
component of social thought, change? How are images woven into this fabric? How can we
see it in the construction of SR? Three studies (two of which used moving images) will be
introduced as the path to a major research work based on mental maps. This paper describes
the path to this research, its relation with the imaginary institution of Brazil. It will start
with some historical background to help understand the context of the object studied. Then
the research work previous to this study will be summarized. The second part will present
the work with mental maps of Brazil. At last, some considerations about the potential of the
use of drawings in social representation research will be made.

Author Biography

Ângela Arruda, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

ANGELA ARRUDA obtained the Diplome of the Ecole de Hautes Etudes in 1981. She has been
working on social representations since then. Denise Jodelet was first invited to Brazil in 1982 by
her initiative. Her PhD on Social Psychology was at the University of Sao Paulo. She teaches and
supervises Master and PhD theses in the Post-Graduate Programme on Psychology at the Federal
University of Rio de Janeiro. Until the late 90s, her main research interests were the human
relations to the environment, Brazilian culture, health and gender issues. In 2000, the imaginary
and cultural aspects such as the representations of Brazil, images in social representations
research and the universe of gangsta rap as part of an urban culture, became new sources of