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Revista Psicologia Organizações e Trabalho

On-line version ISSN 1984-6657


DUTRA-THOME, Luciana  and  KOLLER, Silvia Helena. The meaning of work in the vision of young brazilians: an analysis of similar and opposite words for the term work. Rev. Psicol., Organ. Trab. [online]. 2014, vol.14, n.4, pp. 367-380. ISSN 1984-6657.

Perspectives from different historical periods about the meaning of work provide a view of the variety of ways of thinking about and understanding the function of work activities in the present day. This study was an exploratory investigation which aimed at analyzing the meanings that Brazilian young people attributed to the word "work", based on words that have the same meaning and those with an opposite meaning compared to this term. The sample was composed of 7,425 participants aged between 14 and 24 years, of both sexes, from low socioeconomic levels, residing in seven Brazilian capitals. Quantitative and qualitative content analysis were conducted in two stages. First, the frequency of words with similar and opposite meanings for the word work, as indicated by the participants, was considered. In total, there were 7,482 responses for analogous terms and 7,482 for opposite terms. Second, the words were grouped by definitions of work that were pre-defined theoretically. The results indicated the predominance of a moralistic and mercantile view of working, over a perspective of working as a source of personal development and growth. This view may minimize the negative effects of work on the individual and weaken the concept of protected child labor.

Keywords : meaning of work; youth; labor market.

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