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A discourse, two voices: strengths of an interpretative study on law and institutionalization / Um discurso a duas vozes: potencialidades de um estudo interpretativo sobre lei e institucionalização

Author(s): Ana Manso | Ana Tomás de Almeida

Journal: Psicologia : Reflexão e Crítica
ISSN 0102-7972

Volume: 22;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 455;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Content analysis | Law | Institutionalization | Juvenile delinquency

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.
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