Valedor Dictionary for Social Policy

Valedor Dictionary for Social Policy


In the company of the anthropologist Fabrizio Pistillo, the advocates created a dictionary in which they established what various terms commonly used in social policy instruments directed at socially excluded people mean to them. These concepts are often discussed in academic circles, but with this exercise, we open up the space to understand what those who experience these situations think about these concepts.

Here are some ideas that can help us reconsider these concepts from another perspective: that of those to whom they are addressed.


Social Reintegration

It is aimed at socially excluded individuals and is proposed from authority, often involving reeducation in their own way, sometimes with absurd rules. It is an institutional concept from which certain individuals are viewed as “outside the system,” who must be rescued to return to the capitalist system of exploitation and domination. According to the advocates, people experiencing homelessness are part of society; they are not outside it. Therefore, the focus should be on reclaiming their place in society and guaranteeing their rights.



Relates to the level of exclusion an individual experiences, such as disabled individuals. It is associated with a state of weakness, but this is not fixed, as adverse and precarious conditions can lead to the development of skills, strength, and resilience, which those who have not faced such conditions lack. There are different forms of vulnerability, and it is possible that each person may wonder in what way they are vulnerable.



Something that is found in granting ourselves momentary pleasures like eating something we like, reading, writing, or admiring nature. It also comes from helping others and knowing that we have others with whom we work as a team, working towards a common goal. Sometimes it is difficult to conceive happiness due to life’s difficulties, and at times we confuse it with material ambitions imposed by society.



An institutional concept with a negative connotation, evoking the actions of some major political parties in Mexican history. It represents help but also a denial of capabilities. The advocates share the idea that “assistance” involves helping others but also has to do with the impossibility of relating to people as equals and being mere recipients of something without being able to contribute in the same way.



Involves being self-sufficient, capable of meeting one’s own needs. It contrasts with assistance. Absolute autonomy is an illusion, as we all depend on things and people in various ways, so there can be different levels of autonomy.



Involves having a need but also coexisting with other people and things around us. There are many types of dependencies: on people, on everyday objects, on psychoactive substances, and even on oneself or one’s own ideals. It is generally considered negative, but not always; there can be healthy or inevitable/natural dependencies. As social beings, we will always depend on others to some extent.



It is a physical, but it can also be a mental and emotional barrier. There is real disability and perceived disability, which may more or less limit a person from achieving certain goals. It is not fixed but influenced by cultural context, personal attitude, people around you, public spaces…

In another sense, it is a barrier that one imposes on oneself because one always has the ability to start over. It has to do with believing in oneself and developing resilience. Athletes with disabilities demonstrate that everything can be achieved if one wants to. However, controlling a disability and its emotional implications is not easy.



This word generates conflict among the advocates; they do not identify with it and perceive it as a privilege. It has to do with pride, with a code of honor, or with preserving one’s integrity in the face of adversity, with having principles and standing firm in them. It is contrary to corruption, rejection, and contempt. It is something that must be developed, despite being in deplorable situations. Each person constructs their own dignity.



It is a highly debatable term. For some, it is something spiritual; it can be a sensation or emotion experienced even when imprisoned, like when looking at the sky. There can be many prisons that greatly limit a person’s freedom in various areas of life (work, relationships, etc.).

It also has to do with being and finding oneself without relying on religion or government and being accepted.

On the other hand, it is an ideal imposed on us by society, along with the task of achieving it, even though there seems to be no clear definition of what it is.

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