Armindo Maia

PhD candidate
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Armindo Maia

Armindo’s doctoral research examines the role of education in locating nationalism in Timor-Leste’s post-independence nation-building. Historical accounts confirm that education played a central role in the emergence and consolidation of East Timorese pre-independence nationalism and among the younger generation in particular. Nationalism, understood as a social construct and generated from an educated elite in Timor-Leste’s context, became a powerful unifying and galvanising force in the long struggle for independence thanks to a synergetic combination of external concepts with local cultural symbols that resounded deeply among the Timorese. What role does nationalism play in post-independence Timor-Leste? How does formal education locate nationalism in the context of nation-building? To address these, the thesis examines the general perceptions of nationalism among East Timorese, the role of official languages in national identity, the role of history education in nationalism and the extent to which national symbols and ceremonies have nurtured students’ sense of and allegiance to the nation.

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