Annelieke van Dijk is an external PhD candidate at the department of Development and Education of Youth in Diverse Societies.

Her PhD study is directed at gaining an improved understanding of the complex dynamics of the upbringing of youth in violent contexts. Based on ethnographic field work in three slum neighbourhoods in the Brazilian city Salvador da Bahia, the perspectives of parents, school educators and young people on growing up in a violent neighbourhood are explored. By investigating educational goals and practices of mothers and teachers and their underlying values, this study aims to provide a better understanding of how cultural repertoires in general and moral meaning-making in particular, are constructed in interaction with the neighbourhood context. Complementing the educators’ perspectives with young people’s perceptions and their strategies to deal with violence and create alternative future pathways, the project aspires to present a broader outlook on growing up in violent contexts and its impact on socialisation practices. The analyses show how educators and young people develop strategies to navigate the obstacles and limitations their environment presents and the opportunities they create to resist violence and construct alternative moralities. From a sociocultural-historical perspective on agency and social transformation, the study aims to shed a different light on how a critical understanding of the neighbourhood context can reveal opportunities for individual agency and collective resources for resistance, and provide new ways to consider the transformational potential of educational environments in violent contexts.