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Arquivos Brasileiros de Psicologia

versão On-line ISSN 1809-5267


MACIEL, Regina Heloisa et al. Precariousness work and life conditions of recyclable materials street pickers of Fortaleza, CE. Arq. bras. psicol. [online]. 2011, vol.63, n.spe, pp. 71-82. ISSN 1809-5267.

The article discusses life and work conditions of young, middle-aged and elderly street pickers, focusing on experiences of childhood, adolescence and actual job. Eight workers, between 20 and 85 years of age, men and women, were interviewed. The data indicates that: all had a childhood and adolescence marked by lack of resources and emotional support, early insertion in precarious work and low education; the current work maintains the previous experiences of precarious living and working conditions and lack of prospects of inclusion in the formal work market; young workers express feelings of hopelessness and failure; middle-aged and older workers managed to build a safety net through associations of recyclable collectors; all participants reported they have to deal with bigotry revealed in the eyes "of others" for whom a collector is "garbage", "beggar, vulture", a possible "thief". Finally, all believe the work is critical to their and their families' survival and is a "right" job.

Palavras-chave : Recyclable materials collectors; Precarious employment; Informal work; Life histories.

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