The investigation ‘Between streets and schools’ was conducted in Rio de Janeiro from April 2005 to October 2006 with young people (12 to 17 years old) who lived on the streets, shelters and ‘favelas’(shantytowns). It employed an ethnographic approach focusing on the
process of educational inclusion of pupils who were re-engaging into mainstream schools after being exposed to familiar conflicts, school failure, community problems and ultimately, life on the streets. Data was collected through multiple methods, such as: a) participant observation b) open interviews, c) semi-structured interviews, d)photographs, e) drawings, f) videos, g) audio recording and also h)documents. Visual methods were employed to elicit students’ voices and support the development of narratives. Students produced videos and photographs of their daily routines, engaging and participating as partners in research. Data analysis has been conducted accordingly to the grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Results illustrate the configuration of young people’s identity within a
context of urban conflict and violence, discussing the place of formal education in the constitution of citizenship ideals and participation in civil society.