Discriminatory experiences: narratives of undergraduate students from Southern Brazil

Alexandre Baumgarten, Giovane De Carli, Pamela Kargwanski, João Luiz Bastos, Roger Keller Celeste, Ramona Fernanda Ceriotti Toassi

Abstract


Introduction: Discrimination is an unfair, avoidable and unnecessary phenomenon that can negatively affect the life and health of individuals. Objective: To understand discriminatory situations experienced or observed by undergraduate students over their life course in a state capital in the South of Brazil. Methodology: Exploratory research of qualitative approach. The data were collected based on semi-structured interviews undergraduate students; then recorded and transcribed. Students were selected to assure diversity, using the number of candidate per vacancy, sex, age, skin color/race and stages in their course as indicators (final sample = 15). The textual material was interpreted using thematic content analysis of Bardin. Result: Discriminatory experiences experienced and/or witnessed were present in interviews of 14 students, who recognize discrimination as a different treatment to another person because of certain characteristics, implying any kind of offense, injury and social exclusion to the victims. Discriminatory experiences towards interviewees’ friends or relatives affected them more than towards themselves. Multiple reasons associated with discrimination were reported, amid situations in which the students identified themselves as both victims and perpetrators of unfair treatment. The feeling of solidarity with the victims of discrimination was evidenced by the group. Conclusion: The university was identified as a space where discrimination occurs, especially for sexual reasons and to pertaining to a specific course, as a night course. This qualitative study can contribute to the understanding of discrimination and therefore help developing valid quantitative measures to be used in larger surveys.

Keywords


Social discrimination; Higher education; Students; Interpersonal relations; Qualitative research

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22456/2177-0018.92270

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e-ISSN 2177-0018 / ISSN 0566-1854.

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