Waiting for the future : an ethnography of citizenship and subjectivity at the end of compulsory education

Principal researcher: Maria João Fernandes

Research group: Circulation and Place-Making


Future | Subjectivity | Education | Citizenship | Power

Funding Institution

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT)



Start date





The project proposed aims, primarily, to investigate representations about the future that arise from the subjectivity of a group of agents (students at the end of compulsory education) that have experienced the schooling process. Furthermore, we are looking to understand the relationship between the practices and discourses activated in the school and the formation of political communities. We consider a group of agents that constitute the educational communities of three schools in Almada as well as the institutions that compose the national education system. Therefore, we propose an ethnography in the transitional space between compulsory education and the integration of former students in society, comprising different scales of analysis: from the aspirations, strategies and projects of the individuals to those of the state. We take as a key reference the production of the document "O perfil do aluno para o século XXI" (Ministério da Educação, 2017), defined as an essential guide to possible reforms in the Portuguese educational system. This document, oriented towards a future temporality, envisages the ways in which the school"s duty is to relate person and citizen through the student, in order to develop the national political community. We search for a comparative reading of the perspectives of both the producers and subjects of a profile, in a specific context. In relating education and society we look to contribute to a reflexion on the impact of compulsory education on the life projects that organize contemporaneity, building networks between past, present and future possibilities to the individual and society.


Full members

José Mapril

Circulation and Place-Making