Pedagogy of the Oppressed


Paulo Freire

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Verbalism, Activism Term Analysis

Verbalism and activism are specific ways of achieving freedom that, according to Freire, are ineffective. Verbalism occurs when a person reflects on their conditions, but does not take any concrete action to change them. Activism normally refers to taking action for a political goal, However, Freire gives it a more specific meaning here: activism occurs when a person takes concrete actions, but does not change how they think about their conditions. Freire argues that freedom can only be achieved through the combination of reflection and action, which he calls praxis.
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Verbalism, Activism Term Timeline in Pedagogy of the Oppressed

The timeline below shows where the term Verbalism, Activism appears in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Freedom and Oppression Theme Icon
Maintaining and Overthrowing Oppression Theme Icon
...the combination of reflection and action. When reflection is not paired with action, it becomes “verbalism,” and the word loses its power. And when action is not paired with reflection, it... (full context)