Tanzanian Childhoods: Street Children's Narratives of 'Home'

Ruth M.C. Evans
2004 Journal of Contemporary African Studies  
This article discusses Tanzanian street children's narratives of their home environments and their experiences of family life. Based on findings from childfocused ethnographic research, I identify the salient factors influencing children's decisions to leave their immediate household to seek a living independently within the urban environment. These include chronic poverty and social marginalisation, negative features of the social construction of childhood, such as corporal punishment and the
more » ... punishment and the conflict between 'work' and 'play', underlying gender inequalities, children's experiences within diverse household structures, and rural-urban migration. My research refutes assumptions about street children as being predominantly 'orphans' or 'abandoned', and suggests that a complex myriad of factors influence children's decisions to leave home. Children are very often making a rational choice of one lifestyle over another, in response to difficult home environments and oppressive adult-child relations.
doi:10.1080/0258900042000179616 fatcat:tlctk7j7cvdgjkdxlksk57cxqa