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At Home in the Street: Street Children of Northeast Brazil by Tobias Hecht

By Tobias Hecht

Via cutting edge fieldwork and ethnographic writing, Hecht lays naked the acquired truths concerning the lives of Brazilian highway young children. This publication alterations the phrases of the talk, asking now not why there are such a lot of homeless teenagers in Brazil yet why - given the oppressive substitute of domestic lifestyles within the shantytowns - there are in reality so few. conversing in recorded periods that contributors known as "radio workshops," highway young ones requested each other questions that even the main skilled researchers will be not going to pose. on the heart of this examine are youngsters who play, scouse borrow, sleep, dance, and die within the streets of a Brazilian urban. yet throughout them determine activists, politicians, researchers, "home" teenagers, and an international concern of early life.

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Extra resources for At Home in the Street: Street Children of Northeast Brazil

Sample text

I 31 At Home in the Street jumped off a diving board and hit my head on a rock that was under water. When I woke up seven days had passed. I was in the Restauracao [Hospital} and my mother was there. She had come. I didn't even have any fun that time. I just got to Recife, went to the beach, took a dip, and then I was at home. The ninth time I hung out in the street, and my mother found me again. I was in the city sniffing glue and that's when she found out I used glue. She started crying and said, "Don't do that" and stuff.

Many of the contrasts, of course, relate to gender. I believe that, on balance, life in the street tends to be even harder for girls than for boys, not only because of their greater physical vulnerability but also because of social expectations in Brazil about girlhood and boyhood, about the street and about the home, and about the gendered nature of public and private space. Girlhood is typically more closely circumscribed, more inimical to the street, more closely allied to the home. The street is perceived as a threat to the moral values adults seek to inculcate in children, especially to those of girls, for whom contact with the street is apt to transform them from meninas (girls) into mulheres (sexually initiated women).

Tobias: Does he drink? Edivaldo: No, he just likes hitting. He doesn't eat or drink. He's just rotten. Tobias: Why did he hit you? Edivaldo: Because of his kids. They would do something then say that I did it. He wouldn't believe me if I said one thing and his kids said another. Tobias: What happened the sixth time you ran away? Edivaldo: The sixth time . . I went to the bus station again. I spent a lot of time in the street. I ran away a lot. Once, the seventh time I ran away from home, I stayed at a lumberyard in Boa Viagem.

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