How women, designated as poor, reconstruct identities and ways of life? — the PRSI or the processes of re-qualifying social-identity


Maria de Fátima Toscano
Instituto Superior Miguel Torga (ISMT); Dinamia-Cet, ISCTE-IULisboa,
Largo da Cruz de Celas 1 3000-132 Coimbra, Portugal
E-mail address:


The sociological qualitative analysis of social identities and of the meanings of social action, the grounded theory and the ‘writing as analytical praxis qualitative-method’ have permitted me the co-creation of women biographies of un-qualifying/re-qualifying — oral discourses about their migration at the Pays Basque. I argue that the “poverty studies traditions” reproduce and contains seven (7) epistemological obstacles and formulations on negative terms, and I underline theoretical contributors to the Identities Sociology, discussing the oppositions “personal/social” (Social-Psi), and “determined-objectives identities/assumed-subjective identities” (Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons and Pierre Bourdieu). So, I define “social identities” as the way the social-actor becomes a social-sujet (on the tradition of Touraine), considering three components (to explain). Defining oral discourses as the condition to co-construct the social experience, I identify and explain, at the re-qualifying processes: 1) several reaction phases – on positive terms – and social-identities territory’s implicated, as multiple meanings of the social action and identity-strategies (Risc, Strategic-Sacrifice); 2) four identity resources-capitals negotiated, affected, connected or stimulated.


Key words:

social disqualification, poverty, sociology of the identities, oral data, qualitative methodologies, women


DOI: 10.15503/jecs20142.75.81                     pdf full version