Social representations of poverty built by post-graduation students of the course about Education, Poverty and Social Inequality held in the Rio Grande do Norte state: first results

<p></p><p>ABSTRACT Social representations are a modality of knowledge produced by common sense that have as their primary function the elaboration of behaviors and communication between individuals. All social representation is the particular reading of an object, performed by a subject (individual or collective), based on the beliefs, values and information that the same shares in the culture in which they are located. Following this theory, the present research sought to identify and know the structure of social representation or social representations about "poverty" constructed by the EPSI’ students in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. The research universe was composed of 301 students who answered a free word evocation questionnaire, whose data were analyzed with the support of EVOC software. Based on Jean-Claude Abric's central nucleus approach to social representations, it was possible to identify the structure of the representational contents shared by the subjects investigated. In this structure, there is a central system composed of the elements "inequality" and "exclusion" and a peripheral system composed of the elements shortage, hunger, misery, necessity. The results indicate the existence of two social representations: one of ideological character, which emphasizes the macroeconomic and political aspects or the role of education in the production of the phenomenon and another, that considers poverty as part of social reality, therefore without criticism of an economic or political nature.</p><p></p>