Common future and personal responsibilities: a comparison between Italian and Burundian students.

Research paper by Chiara C Berti, Stefano S Passini

Indexed on: 03 Aug '12Published on: 03 Aug '12Published in: International Journal of Psychology


The political, social, and cultural history of a nation modulates the representations of rights and duties. The aim of this research is to compare students from two countries (Italy and Burundi) in terms of how they define their rights and duties. In the two countries, there are differences both in the legal protection of fundamental rights and in regard to material conditions, which in turn ensure the effectiveness of rights. Focus groups structured around nine questions were conducted in Burundi and in Italy. The discussions with Italian and Burundian students showed some clear differences. Although both groups speak of rights as something to be safeguarded and something that everyone is born with, Italian students do not recognize the complementarity of rights and duties and consider the latter simply as a limit and an obstacle to individual enhancement. On the contrary, Burundian adolescents seem more aware of their personal responsibilities and their role in protecting human rights.