Assaulting childhood : an ethnographic study of children resident in a Western Cape migrant hostel complex

 

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dc.contributor.advisor West, Martin en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Jones, Sean Wilshire en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2016-11-07T17:44:18Z
dc.date.available 2016-11-07T17:44:18Z
dc.date.issued 1990 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Jones, S. 1990. Assaulting childhood : an ethnographic study of children resident in a Western Cape migrant hostel complex. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/22433
dc.description Bibliography: pages 335-348. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract This study documents the lives of children between the ages of 10 and 15 years who reside in migrant worker hostels in the Hottentots-Holland region of the Western Cape. It focuses on three particular aspects of the children's lives: their domestic circumstances and relationships prior to their residence in the hostels; their experiences of everyday life in the hostels; and the quality, extent, and determinants of their education over time. The children's domestic circumstances before moving to the hostels had been disrupted in the extreme. This disruption took various forms, but was caused primarily by the participation of parents and other significant adults in labour migration. Consequently, the children's histories are characterised by high levels of mobility, where children themselves have migrated, by frequent separation from parents, and by high incidences of foster-parenting. Testimony by the children indicates that they have felt this domestic disruption acutely. A further consequence of the children's residential and domestic mobility has been regular interruptions over time in their schooling. Factors such as the frequency of the children's own movement, separation from their parents, devaluative attitudes towards education by temporary foster parents, and vicissitudes in their economic circumstances have meant that most of them have progressed less than half as far at school as they should have done. This is compounded at Lwandle by the state's refusal to provide a school for hostel children, and by the inadequacy of the 'self-help' teaching which takes place there as a result. The children's everyday lives in the hostels are examined in relation to the severe limitations on space and privacy which exist there. Particular attention is granted to children's perceptions of the hostel milieu, to the difficulties which parents experience in rearing children in the hostels, to parent-child relations, and to the games and other play-activities in which the children engage. Perhaps the most prominent feature of life in the hostels which emerged during the research is the frequency with which children are exposed to acts of extreme violence. The study documents both the children's accounts of this violence, and their diagnoses of it. In conclusion, questions are raised about the future of these children and others like them. Attention is also directed towards the potential for further research into childhood by anthropology and other social sciences. The study grants primacy to children's viewpoints over and above those of their parents and other adults in the hostels, and one of its implicit objectives is to demonstrate the value to anthropology of children's insights into social life. It makes extensive use of the children's own testimony, both written and oral, and of life history material. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Migrant labour - South Africa en_ZA
dc.subject.other Children - Western Cape en_ZA
dc.subject.other Hostels - Cape Town en_ZA
dc.subject.other Social Anthropology en_ZA
dc.title Assaulting childhood : an ethnographic study of children resident in a Western Cape migrant hostel complex en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Social Anthropology en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MA en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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