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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972


MANSO, Ana  and  ALMEIDA, Ana Tomás de. A discourse, two voices: strengths of an interpretative study on law and institutionalization. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2009, vol.22, n.3, pp.455-465. ISSN 0102-7972.

This study is based on the content analysis of interviews done with 15 young males institutionalized in a Re-Education Center in Portugal for offensive behavior and conflict with the law. The technique of generating discourse structure, used as a communication validity tool, allows the definition of law and institutionalization as the main categories. The main goal is to describe the social representations youngsters build about the categories, upon which the researcher performs her own interpretative work. The analyses revealed that youngsters conceive law in terms of its legal consequences, while perceiving institutionalization as an educational measure, in terms of their social rehabilitation, but also referring to it as a punishment element. This study aims at accounting for the potentialities of the interpretative approach concerning research and intervention.

Keywords : Content analysis; Law; Institutionalization; Juvenile delinquency.

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