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Print version ISSN 0102-4698


GURSKI, Roselene. The symbolic place of the child in Brazil: a stolen childhood?. Educ. rev. [online]. 2012, vol.28, n.1, pp. 61-78. ISSN 0102-4698.

This article analyzes the symbolic place of childhood in Brazil, having as a starting point a reflection upon Walter Benjamin's concept of experience, as well as some notions from Psychoanalysis. Firstly, there is a review of the social-historical construction of the concept of childhood in this country and in the occidental world, which is achieved by carrying out a brief overview of the state's main actions and public policies from the 19th century onwards. One of the questions raised here leads to a reflection on the simultaneously existing positions of majesty/dejection that Brazilian children occupy, particularly regarding the historical difference in the treatment given to children from different social strata. The article suggests that what is missing is a symbolic statute for childhood concerning its two facets, questioning whether childhood is "stolen", once children are not offered appropriate conditions to live the experience of childhood.

Keywords : Childhood; Experience; Psychoanalysis.

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