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Temas em Psicologia

versão impressa ISSN 1413-389X


MENIN, Maria Suzana de Stefano  e  SOUZA, Aparecida Doniseti Pires de. Social representations of the law among teenagers living in a city of the state of São Paulo. Temas psicol. [online]. 2001, vol.9, n.3, pp. 199-210. ISSN 1413-389X.

This work presents representations of the law among 480 teenagers enrolled in public and private schools from a city of the state of São Paulo (Brazil). Data was collected through a questionnaire inquiring about the definitions and reasons to obey the laws and the possibilities of breaking or changing it. Two theoretical approaches guided the analysis of the data: one based in Tapp's levels of judgement of laws (1991), the other establishing the changing of the representations of the law according to the social differences of the groups. This research detected more conventional or pre-conventional levels among the students of the public schools, whereas more conventional and post-conventional levels were detected among the students of the private schools. The crosstab-analysis revealed different representations of the law among the two groups of students, related to their social and economical level. In the highest social economical level the students are more favorable to changes in the law and breaking it when it is unjust

Palavras-chave : representations of law; social representations; legal development; moral development.

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