|Wednesday, February 10th|
Zipporah Onyinyechi Omenma, University of Nigeria,Nsukka.
10:45 AM - 12:15 PM
Roberta Holanda Maschietto, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra
10:45 AM - 12:15 PM
This paper is based on an ongoing research on perceptions of violence, peace and power among the youth in Brazil. The starting point is the current social and political context of Brazil, where the numbers of violence resemble those of countries at war and where there has been a significant shift to the far right over the last few years, culminating in the election of Jair Bolsonaro as president in 2018, who defends the wide liberalisation of guns, has openly defended torture during the military period, and presents a general discourse of governance based of strict order and traditional ‘family values’. Recent numbers of violence indicate that most of the victims of armed violence in Brazil are young, poor and black men. At the same time, there are increasingly young people adopting a more conservative posture. This research aims to assess the extent to which these political and social shifts are influencing the youth. The project contemplates a series of focus groups in high schools and universities in five different states. Nevertheless, because of the pandemic ad its effects in school closures the project has been paused, so the results here presented are partial and refer to the phase just before the pandemic in two states. The focus groups, a total of nine, were semi structured. Students were asked about their views and experiences regarding violence, peace and power/empowerment, including the extent to which they thought that violence was a functional/legitimate way to change power dynamics. While the results are partial, they add to current studies on violence in Brazil, particularly for providing space for a free discussion that allows a deeper exploration of why particular forms of thinking about peace, violence and power prevail among the youth.