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Title: Negotiating childhood : the gendered experiences of street children and children in difficult circumstances in Tanzania
Author: Evans, Ruth Mary Clare
ISNI:       0000 0000 6105 1953
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2003
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Within the context of national levels of poverty, structural adjustment policies and the AIDS epidemic, this thesis analyses the experiences of children and young people in difficult circumstances in Tanzania from a gender perspective. Using the social construction of 'childhood' as the theoretical framework, the study is based on participatory, child-focused ethnographic research, which was conducted in Arusha, northern Tanzania 2000-2002. Following an overview of the global concept of childhood, the phenomenon of street children, and concepts of childhood in Tanzania, I provide a reflexive account of the research process. Based on the findings, I explore children's and adults' perceptions of the socio-cultural concept of childhood, children's different gendered experiences, and attitudes towards education. The study then examines street children's experiences of 'home' and their narratives of why they left their immediate household. In the light of the experiences of some street children who had been orphaned by AIDS and whose families and communities were unable to support them, I analyse the experiences of children from HIV / AIDS-affected households, and young people's age-related and gendered vulnerabilities to HIV infection. The contradictions and contrasts of life on the street are explored, based on children's experiences, with gender identified as a key differential. I examine the survival strategies and coping mechanisms, both materially and emotionally, that children develop in order to survive independently in the street. Using Moser's framework of 'practical' and 'strategic' needs and interests (1989) I explore ways of responding to the experiences of children and young people. Children's participation in decision-making at the local, regional, national and international levels is analysed, and I draw up a series of policy recommendations which aim to meet children's practical and strategic needs. In the light of the previous chapters, I re-evaluate the concept of street children and offer some ways forward.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Gender studies