'When we think about risk, we think about rights': community-based organisations' staff members' perspectives on risk, resiliency and rights in Juiz de Fora, Brazil

Penelope Kay Morrison, Cara Nikolajski, Susan Zickmund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this article, we draw on a qualitative case study undertaken in 2008 and 2009 of staff working at community-based organisations for at-risk youth in Juiz de Fora, Brazil, to examine staff members' perspectives of adolescent health-risk behaviours and resiliency. We use these data to explore how recent policy changes in Brazil have led to a shift in the ways in which adolescent risk taking is perceived by those working in youth services, and to suggest the influence that this has had on the way in which these entities promote resiliency among the population they serve. Specifically, we argue that Brazil's Child and Adolescent Act of 1990, a policy derived from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, has been instrumental in reframing for the community-based organisations the question of adolescent health-risk behaviours into a rights-based framework and has shifted the perceptions of those working at such organisations as to who a youth 'at-risk' is, why young people engage in risk taking and how best to promote resiliency. This work has implications for understanding both how risk and resiliency are constructed in different social and cultural contexts and how such concepts may change over time due to shifting socio-political climates. © 2013

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-362
Number of pages16
JournalHealth, Risk and Society
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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