Agency in and from the margins : street children and youth in N'Djaména, Chad

TitleAgency in and from the margins : street children and youth in N'Djaména, Chad
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsM.E. de Bruijn
EditorM.E. de Bruijn, R.A.van Dijk, and J.B. Gewald
Secondary TitleStrength beyond structure : social and historical trajectories of agency in Africa
Pagination263 - 285
Date Published2007///
PublisherBrill
Place PublishedLeiden
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsAfrica, Chad, children, street children, urban society, youth
Abstract

Since the 1980s the number of NGOs working with street children in African cities has mushroomed and numerous publications about street children have appeared. This chapter investigates how children and youth living on the streets of N'djaména in Chad create a living in the margins of society, which have become the centre of their lives. It examines what these so-called margins mean for street children and whether and how they act out their agency in this context. It also explores how the urban middle class, including NGO personnel, negotiates 'normality' through the creation of the centre-margin dichotomy. For them, street children and their way of life serve as a mirror image of society. The margins of society thus have different meanings for those living and those working in it. In the 'children at risk' paradigm adopted by NGOs, street children are denied agency, whereas reality shows that many of them have the capability to deal with their situation and are convinced that the decision to live on the streets was the right one under the circumstances. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]

Citation Key2078