113.2 Settings for “cultural justice” on sheltering cases: The fostered children role in Brazilian rural areas

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 12:45 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Priscila AZEVEDO , Social Sciences, Universidade Estadual de Campinas - UNICAMP, Campinas, Brazil
This is to set on an analysis of the moral and habitual methods by means of which people from the interior of a Brazilian state recognise the “fostered children” and establish imagery of principles and rules of a code that outlines identity and the social & familial relationship behavior. “Fostered children” categorises those who were given away when babies or in early years by their biological family to another family, which shelters them (not documented) and presents them to society as part of the offspring, suppressing any difference from the biological children. However, only the fostered child is raised to execute the household chores and parents care (till their death), giving up school, leisure, marriage, formal work or any action in a context beyond family. Nothing is explicitly imposed by the sheltering family nor seen as unfair by the fostered child and the latter even states to feel as a “blood brother”, “one of the offspring”. In rural society, where the research was conducted, the “fostered children” category is positively marked as “good”, “special”, “always willing to help” and one who must take the traditional “mission” of “caring for parents until death”. Despite of the suffering from imprisonment/submission, in underlying evidence, interviewed fostered children (3 men and 5 women, all black, ranging from 20 to 93 years of age and come from popular layer) understand their serfdom as a matter of honour, necessary to achieve social recognition and acceptance, so much that they do not even consider the rejection of that mission. Quite the opposite, they reflexively build on their identities by tuning them up to a social-cultural model, benefitting of an obvious distinction of their kind status.