Experiencing violence : children and the marginalized urban space of the Brazilian favela

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Sertzen, Pamela Katia

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This research examines the transformations occurring in children and youth’s identity narratives as they engage dialectically with the recent public narratives of social and political inclusion. Employing children’s experiences of the favela, this thesis explores children’s ontological narratives as part of a place-based identity constructed within the public narratives of Rio de Janeiro. A range of public narratives are constituted and socially constructed by the state, media and culture industries. However, cultural, social and economic narratives from non-governmental organizations based in favelas have emerged as counter-production to the mainstream public narratives. This work captures the intersections of these narratives in children’s lives through empirical research in a favela in Rio de Janeiro using participant observation, a mini questionnaire, and photo-voice technique with children aged 10-13. It provides insight into the ways in which children face every-day boundaries enforced by relationships at the individual, the community, and the city levels. The findings show that children are caught in a web of disorder that is strongly influenced by both traffickers and the state, which contributes to their continued social exclusion from formal city space.



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