Social Representations of the Disadvantaged Childhood's Asylum of Horta in the Press (Azores, Portugal): From the Constitutional Monarchy to the First Republic

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he aim of this article is to understand the symbolic representations of the assistance strategies aimed at disadvantaged children, expressed in two newspapers published on the island of Faial, in the Azores, in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries (covering the time horizon between the end of the monarchic period and the implementation of the First Republic). The technique of documentary analysis and a subsequent qualitative thematic content analysis of childcare news collected in two local newspapers were used. The discursive records produced by the press on the assistance strategies value, on the one hand, an axiological dimension and forms of charitable intervention and, on the other hand, aggregate and reconcile the discourses and techniques inherent to charitable and philanthropic models. This mutual assimilation underlies the achievement of the same objective: The moralization and integration of disadvantaged invalid childhood and, above all, the protection of the existing social order. We conclude that, perhaps contrary to what would be expected, the charitable logic articulated in a concomitant way with the philanthropic logic survived, even with the stabilization of the republican period (result of a revolution that deposed the regime of the constitutional monarchy and implemented the republican regime in 1910 in Portugal, whose political elites mobilized an official discourse that advocated the separation between the State and Religion, assigning the State the function of social assistance for children and youth). This demonstrates a certain dissociation, as well as a relative autonomy of conceptions about child and youth care between republican political ideology and current social practices, at least in this specific context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Disadvantaged childhood
  • Charity
  • Philanthropy
  • Newspaper publications
  • Monarchy
  • First Republic
  • Faial
  • Portugal

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