resistance. To make references
to abstract or very technical
concepts can sound pedantic
and elitist. When we are
confronted with this difficulty,
we can elaborate a less
technical and more popular
concept, though not losing the
explanatory quality.
Using Linguistics and
Social Psychology research
methodologies, we asked the
communities we were working
with to define prevention
instead of doing it ourselves as
a University. We helped them
to elaborate and organize their
We w e r e p l e a s a n t l y
surprised with the concept
elaborated by a community
formed by people who were
semi-illiterate and with a very
low social-economical level in
the State of Minas Gerais. This
needy community was located
close to a luxurious
condominium. Drug dealers
started to harass teenagers of
the community so they would
sell drugs for the rich people.
The families of the
teenagers, aware of that fact,
looked for help with religious
people who forwarded them to
us. After bringing up their
objectives and aims and
s e a r ch i n g f o r t h e b e s t
prevention strategies for that
reality, we worked the concepts
of prevention with them.
The community
spontaneously decided that:
“Prevention is what we do for
those that we love.” This
concept is organized much
more in affective terms than in
technical terms. The concept
translates their history and the
problem that they had to face.
Although it is a beautiful
sentence with a charismatic
sense that others could use,
only that community has the
code for its real meaning. Only
they know what they do so that
those they love (their teenagers)
would keep away from drugs.
Thus, a part of this concept
is universal but its real meaning
is a message shared only by that
community. Since it is an
affective and simpler concept, it
is easier to memorize it. This
means that, for human
d e ve l o p m e n t , s c i e n t i f i c,
humanistic and affective
concepts can live together
without further difficulties for
the benefit of society.
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Revista analisis 06