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Temas em Psicologia

Print version ISSN 1413-389X


BRAGA, Natalia Lopes; LIMA, Deyseane Maria Araújo  and  MACIEL, Regina Heloisa. There was no job, but there was recycling: meanings of work of recyclables materials collectors. Temas psicol. [online]. 2015, vol.23, n.4, pp. 1051-1059. ISSN 1413-389X.

This research portrays the struggle of workers, in face of unemployment, that found in collecting recyclable materials their survival and their families. The research sought to understand the meanings attributed by collectors to their work as recyclable material collector. For this, a field research with qualitative approach was performed, using the technique of "life stories" with the participation of two collectors. The "life stories" technique allows dynamic understanding of the relations established in the past and present, bringing a reflection about personal experiences. For data analysis was used the method of "discourse analysis". The results of this research identified many difficulties faced by these workers on a day-to-day, as the exhausting hours of work, insecurity and instability across the activity. Furthermore, could be observed that there is an ambiguous relationship of satisfaction and suffering with collecting, which reveals the existence of several meanings, including contradictory, assigned to the work of collectors. It's possible to conclude that this activity manifests itself as a form of resistance against prolonged unemployment, and was through the informality of the labor that the collectors rescued their sources of income. This research sought to give visibility to collectors and pointed to the need to provide better conditions for the exercise of the activity.

Keywords : Recyclable material collectors; work; meanings of the work.

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