African Children At Work

Most children in Africa start working from a very early age – helping the family or earning wages. Should this work be abolished, tolerated, or encouraged? Such questions are the subject of much debate: international and national organizations, employers, parents, and children often have diverse opinions and put pressure in different directions. The authors of this book contribute to the discussion through intensive fieldwork and careful analysis of children’s activities. They consider childhood and family, work and play, work in rural and urban contexts, paths to learning, work and school, and children’s rights.

Gerd Spittler is Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology at the University of Bayreuth. His publications on work include Hirtenarbeit (1998), Le travail en Afrique noire (co-editor, 2003), and Founders of the Anthropology of Work (2008).

Michael Bourdillon is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology, University of Zimbabwe. Recently he has specialised on children’s work and is a co-author of Rights and Wrongs of Children’s Work (2010).

Michael Bourdillon and Gerd Spittler

The Chore Curriculum
David F. Lancy

Children’s Work in a Family Economy: A case study and theoretical discussion
Gerd Spittler

Peasants in the Making: Bamana children at work
Barbara Polak

Learning and Children’s Work in a Pottery-Making Environment in Northern Côte d’Ivoire 
Iris Köhler

Migration of Children and Youth in Mali: Global versus local discourses Isaie Dougnon Schooling or Working? How family decision processes, children’s agencies and state policy influence the life paths of children in northern Benin
Erdmute Alber

Children’s Work, Child Fostering and the Spread of Formal Schooling in Northern Benin
Jeannett Martin

Work and Play: Economic restructuring and children’s everyday learning in rural Sudan
Cindi Katz

Children Learning Life Skills through Work: Evidence from the lives of unaccompanied migrant children in a South African border town
Stanford T. Mahati

No Longer Willing to be Dependent: Young people moving beyond learning 
Yaw Ofosu-Kusi and Phil Mizen

Children’s Work, Education and Agency: The African Movement of Working Children and Youth (AMWCY)
Manfred Liebel

Reflections: Values, rights, and research
Michael Bourdillon

ISBN 978-3-643-90205-4


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