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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


MACIEL, Carla; BRITO, Suerde  and  CAMINO, Leoncio. Explanations about social inequalities: a study with street children in João Pessoa, Brazil . Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 1998, vol.11, n.2, pp.209-232. ISSN 0102-7972.

The present paper studies the ways in which street children explain the causes of socioeconomic inequalities. The participants were 56 boys, 12 to 17 years old, 25 of whom were members of the Street Children National Movement and the remaining 31 had no links with it. A questionnaire was used together with some pictures portraying situations of poverty and of richness from which the boys gave explanations for those phenomena. The results showed that the boys who had no link with the Movement emphasized impersonal attributions as determinants of poverty and of richness, suggesting that persons having their life controlied by external factors, would be unabie to change their reality. On the other hand, the boys who were participants of the Movement explained poverty in terms of social structure and richness as depending on personal effort, thus conceiving persons as agents who belleve they can overcome the difficulties imposed by society through their own effort. These results show that the Movement, as a militant organization, helped the boys to build a concept of citizenship which is different from the one hold by street children who dot participate in the Movement.

Keywords : street children; socio-economical inequalities; social movements.

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