‘If you don’t work, you have to steal’
DOI link for ‘If you don’t work, you have to steal’
‘If you don’t work, you have to steal’ book
Work and producing income are the key requisites for being a man in most cultures. Where work is hard to come by and becoming socially recognized as a worker is difficult, these issues become accentuated. The present generation of young men is part of the largest generation or cohort of young people that the world has ever seen (both proportionally and in absolute numbers). When young people line up for a job interview or to take a civil service exam, there are more other young people competing with them for these same jobs than ever before. To take a concrete example, in 2003, the city of Rio de Janeiro announced that it was accepting applications for an additional 600 sanitation workers, a position with a monthly salary of about US$250, including benefits. The requisites were having completed primary school and being at least 18 years of age. More than 20,000 men-mostly in their twenties-lined up with their applications. The police had to be called in to maintain order and control fights and scuffles that ensued. For most people, this ‘youth boom’ is a figure on a chart or graph-a bulge in the population pyramid. For young men lining up for relatively low-paid sanitation jobs, the ‘youth boom’ is the very real fact of there being 19,999 other young men trying to get the same job as you (O Globo 2003).