The purpose of this qualitative research study is to understand, compare and contrast elite
perspectives of understanding of national identity and citizenship in Guatemala in the
new environment of policies for social cohesion. In-depth interviews of six key
personalities in Guatemalan elite society provide insights into the understanding of the
construction of these concepts and the cultural logics underlying the initiative of the
introduction of the Cabinet for Social Cohesion led by the first lady Sandra de Colom.
Critical pedagogy is used as a theoretical framework to understand the future
development and implementation of a policy for social cohesion and to pull together and
analyze the similarities and discrepancies of elites’ perspectives. Finally, the study seeks
to highlight the importance of identity politic when developing educational policy and
social cohesion, especially citizenship education within the Guatemalan context.
Key Words: social cohesion, citizenship, national identity, Guatemala