Accessibility / Report Error

School experiences of Brazilian youngsters: the effects of violence in the construction of their identities

Carla Araújo About the author

This work deals with the school experiences of young pupils living in Vila da Luz - a neighborhood on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte, Brazil - whose daily life is characterized by violence, public insecurity, and social exclusion. The exploratory study examined how experiences outside school, particularly in Vila da Luz, infringe on their daily lives and reorient pupil’s attitudes and behaviors among themselves and towards teachers and other school workers. The school environment was sociologically characterized as a space of complex interactions, in which symbolic violence and physical aggression intersect, giving rise to a school experience based on fear and anxiety. The experiences and social representations of young pupils were emphasized with a view to understand how they build their identities when their group and interpersonal relations take place against a background of violence. Thus, the investigation offered possibilities to think the school as a space for the mediation of conflicts and the coexistence of social and cultural diversity. Centered on a participative research methodology with emphasis on the interpretative model, this study permitted developing issues concerning education and subjectivity under the optics of some important theorists such as Anthony Giddens, Norbert Elias, and Erik Erikson.

Youth; Violence; School; Identity

Faculdade de Educação da Universidade de São Paulo Av. da Universidade, 308 - Biblioteca, 1º andar 05508-040 - São Paulo SP Brasil, Tel./Fax.: (55 11) 30913520 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil