Young Argentinians' Perceptions About Corruption: A Case Study


Over the past 30 years, corruption has been one of the most studied problems in the social sciences because, in every region of the world, it negatively affects institutional, political, economic, and social development. Despite the efforts to reduce and solve this problem, corruption extends to every sphere of social life. It is likely that the measures taken are not effective because countries such as Argentina mainly copy measures from developed countries without analyzing the social and cultural contexts. In this article, an attempt was made to identify how young Argentinians understand corruption, how they define it, and what practices of everyday life they consider corrupt. According to the results of the 10 interviews, for the young Argentinians, the situation of corruption always presumes the existence of a victim (a disadvantaged third party), the asymmetrical relation of power and self-profit or advantage. The idea of the existence of damage has a particular characteristic: it allows the subject to answer the question “Who will suffer damages, losses in one way or another?”. At the same time, the answer to this question works as a moral justification or, on the contrary, as the rejection of corrupt practices. Often the idea of corruption is analyzed case by case: to evaluate its seriousness, it is necessary to examine who carries out the corrupt action, who it damages, and if there is a need or not. Corruption extends as a product of the capitalist system and as a way of achieving assets and services that, in other ways, people with insufficient resources could not achieve.

Keywords: corruption, youth, Argentina

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