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Psicologia em Revista

Print version ISSN 1677-1168


CAMINO, Cleonice; GALVAO, Lilian  and  RIQUE, Júlio. From justice to rights. Psicol. rev. (Belo Horizonte) [online]. 2008, vol.14, n.1, pp. 171-188. ISSN 1677-1168.

This study investigates whether there is a relation between the notions of what justice is and what it means to have rights. It is based on Piaget’s theory on the various levels of social decentration and of understanding reality, developing social thinking from concrete to abstract levels. With basis on the assumption that advancing on the decentration level about rights depends on advancing on the decentration level about justice, a decentration sample of 180 male adolescents from four different social contexts answered the following questions: What is justice and what is it to have a right? Their answers were grouped into four categories. Results showed (a) the influence of social context in the frequency of answers to the categories, and (b) a significant difference between the notions of justice and rights, that is, adolescents generally showed more complex thinking about justice than about rights, confirming the initial supposition. The study supports the idea that thinking about justice comes first, followed by thinking about rights.

Keywords : Justice; Rights; Social context; Adolescents.

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