Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Exploring the space between : community perspectives and experiences of child discipline and the relationship with the discourse of children's rights in northwest Tanzania
Author: Kelly, Susan A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 4249
Awarding Body: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Current Institution: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
In 2011, three-quarters of young people reported experiencing survey-defined physical violence before turning 18 in the Tanzania Violence Against Children Survey (VACS). Physical punishment is, however, legal across all settings of children’s lives on mainland Tanzania. This ethnography focuses on the space between community perceptions and experiences of child discipline and the discourse on children’s rights. The study’s conceptual framework combines a socio-ecological model with the concept of liminality to consider policies, practices and perspectives about physical punishment within a rapidly transforming society. Data were collected April 2016 – May 2017 in a northwest Tanzania peri-urban town, with some Dar es Salaam national-level data also collected. Methods included observation, in-depth interviews, group discussions with teachers, caregivers, and children (8-12 years), and policy and media reviews. As a term, physical punishment proved more consistently understood for discussing children’s experiences of violence than corporal punishment. Physical punishment was common in the peri-urban town and mostly considered necessary. Some national rights translators, adults and children across the socio-ecological model contest the practice. Adults resisted physical punishment’s abolishment using enactments of avoidance, negotiation and/or outright rejection. Multiple childhood realities emerged along class lines with middle-class providing some protection from physical punishment. Children mostly said physical punishments were necessary for maintaining respect and obedience, but also relayed that excessive physical punishment was violence and created fear and stress that could undermine learning. This ethnography demonstrates the value of combined methods in understanding children’s daily realities and the complicated and uncomfortable relativist ethics of researching physical punishment of children. I argue that global rights discourse is not just imposed. Rather, it is resisted, debated and dynamic, occupying a liminal space within broader societal change. Resolution on use of physical punishment has not yet been reached; however, transformations are on-going which considered the best interest of the child.
Supervisor: Bond, V. ; Kyegombe, N. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral