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Psicologia USP

Print version ISSN 0103-6564On-line version ISSN 1678-5177


SAWAYA, Sandra Maria. The childhood of urban poverty: verbal language and the children’s writing of the history. Psicol. USP [online]. 2001, vol.12, n.1, pp.153-178. ISSN 0103-6564.

Through the experience of being with a group of children between 3 and 9 years old, in the outskirts of São Paulo, I wanted to verify the thesis that these children are "language impaired" as a consequence of their poor verbal environment, the precarious use of language by parents and the verbal relationship with their children. The contact with the children, the parents and with the neighborhood revealed the complexity in which they use verbal language; it is through the language that the children determine their place in the adult world and above all constantly express their everyday experiences in their surrounding environment. It is through these rich verbal interactions, availability of popular and folklore music and metaphors, narrative occurrences in the neighborhood and the verbal expression of fantasies and fears, that the children become the "spokesmen" of a living and collective memory of the neighborhood. A neighborhood in which the struggle, not only for survival but also for the dignity of life, is the principal task that structures everyday life.

Keywords : Academic failure; Poverty; Verbal language; Socialization; Children.

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