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Pelotas as seen through the eyes of its street children. : An empirical investigation of the child-friendliness of a midsize Brazilian city
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Lehtikunnas, Katri Johanna (2009). Pelotas as seen through the eyes of its street children. An empirical investigation of the child-friendliness of a midsize Brazilian city. Human Geography, advanced level, master thesis for master exam in Human Geography, 30 ECTS credits.

Supervisor: Maria Nordström

Language: English


The aim of this study was to understand the lives of the street children in Pelotas in Southern Brazil. Utilizing multi-method approach I have outlined normal days of these children. Observation, semi-structure interviews individually and in focus groups and walking tours with twelve street children provided vast knowledge about the geographies of their activities and locational choices. This study illustrates the picture the street children have of their city. The conceptual framework of this study is based on the concepts of child-friendly cities and attachment to place. The results analyzed by using these concepts reveal the extremely challenging situation of street children in the margin of society. Settings for a good and balanced life may be there, but actualization of those settings is trivial. Abuse, violence, drugs, discrimination and misunderstanding frame their everyday life. Possibilities to live a normal life are minimal. In this light child-friendliness of Pelotas is evaluated. Based on the results, I claim that these concepts cannot be directly applied to street children. To be able to improve the livelihoods of these children a key tool is cooperation with them. The projects need to be designed and planned with them, not for them. Collaboration between the children and the mainstream society is needed to get sustainable results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 85 p.
Keyword [en]
Child-friendly city, attachment to place, street children, city planning
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-28078OAI: diva2:221595

Available from: 2009-09-21 Created: 2009-06-04 Last updated: 2009-09-21Bibliographically approved

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