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Title: Negotiating a living : working children in Kolkata
Author: Kumar, Tanya
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 8965
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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The majority of children, involved in both waged and unwaged work exist beyond the control and comprehension of national and international regulation, within the informal economy. Research has shown that the informal economy, contrary to general perception, is not a sphere of unregulated activity, but rather, operates through alternative structures and techniques of power. Children's work within the informal economy, and therefore outside the regulative reach of the state, is subject to extra-legal modes of regulation that are pursued through elaborate systems of discipline and power exercised by non-state actors, groups, and social institutions and networks. Through a case study on children in Kolkata, India, who are engaged in specific forms of informal work in three distinct urban spaces – domestic servitude in the private realm of the home, small-scale manufacturing and service work in factories and shops, and ragpicking, scavenging and begging on the streets – this thesis aims to explore the way children's lives are constructed through work and space, to uncover the social processes and relations of power that working children navigate in order to build and sustain their livelihoods. I examine the way that children's spaces of work are imbued with social relations of gender, caste, religion, ethnicity and power that are enacted through the construction of hierarchies, divisions of labour, and work regimes. I also explore the politics of these spaces, revealing the primary economic partnerships and obstacles that children contend with in constructing their working lives. Overall, I aim to uncover the ways in which children engage with and negotiate the extra-legal systems of regulation by categorically analysing children's work in the home, shop and factory, and street.
Supervisor: McDowell, Linda ; Jeffrey, Craig Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geography ; Asia ; Children and youth ; Social Sciences ; South Asia ; India ; childhoods ; Kolkata ; labour