Freedom, mobility and marginality: an interdisciplinary study of the historical roots of contemporary street youth in urban Brazil
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Youth Studies. 2017, . 10.1080/13676261.2017.1343938
This study is focused on the lives of street youth in urban Brazil through an interdisciplinary and cross-historical approach, providing a conceptual analysis of three different but interconnected sources of knowledge: A historical study of vagrants in the 1800s by [Fraga Filho, Walter. (1996). Mendigos, Moleques e Vadios na Bahia do Século XIX. São Paulo: HUCITEC/EDUFBa], the novel Jubiába by [Amado, Jorge. ( 1984). Jubiába. New York: Avon Books] on the life of a youth on the streets in the 1930s, and empirical material from a current ethnography of boys and young men on the street. This approach facilitates a broader perspective on stability and change regarding the dynamics of street life, allowing cross-historical themes to surface. It reveals how young men on the street challenge socio-spatial and moral boundaries. While their marginal position empowers them and increases their mobility, it also encumbers their trajectories. The conclusion arrived at is that marginality and mobility are closely interlinked, as marginality is not only the cause but also consequence of mobility, and sometimes even the obstruction of it.