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Youth Gangs and Street Children Culture, Nurture and Masculinity in Ethiopia by Paula Heinonen
  

Youth Gangs and Street Children Culture, Nurture and Masculinity in Ethiopia

Part of the Social Identities Series

Synopsis

Youth Gangs and Street Children Culture, Nurture and Masculinity in Ethiopia by Paula Heinonen

The rapidly expanding population of youth gangs and street children is one of the most disturbing issues in many cities around the world. These children are perceived to be in a constant state of destitution, violence and vagrancy, and therefore must be a serious threat to society, needing heavy-handed intervention and 'tough love' from concerned adults to impose societal norms on them and turn them into responsible citizens. However, such norms are far from the lived reality of these children. The situation is further complicated by gender-based violence and masculinist ideologies found in the wider Ethiopian culture, which influence the proliferation of youth gangs. By focusing on gender as the defining element of these children's lives - as they describe it in their own words - this book offers a clear analysis of how the unequal and antagonistic gender relations that are tolerated and normalized by everyday school and family structures shape their lives at home and on the street. Paula Heinonen (nee Sinicco) is of Ethiopian/Italian parentage and grew up in Addis Ababa. She is College Lecturer in Gender Studies and the Anthropology of Development at Hertford, University of Oxford. Previously, she was Tutor and Visiting Fellows Program Coordinator at the International Gender Studies Centre, University of Oxford and Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Head of Research at the University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Reviews

The author's relatively long period of field work enables her to follow-up on the longer term fates of the informants. Heinonen has taken great care to gather and categorise her data and to distil it down to its essence. [It] provides a great deal of insight into the complicated ways in which urban poverty is perpetuated in the developing world - [and] serves as an abundant source for those interested in gender, especially for understanding the real-life strategies employed by Ethiopian women and children to survive in a predominantly patriarchal society, and especially for following the way maleness is constructed.

* Anthropological Notebooks

Richly illustrated by quotes and life histories, this is an excellent ethnography of the ways in which young people develop resilience through continual reworking of webs of care, nurturance and interaction amongst themselves and with their families - The text is well written, comprehensive and based on a rich source of empirical material that is well analyzed and interpreted.

* Tatek Abebe, Norwegian Centre for Child Research, Norwegian University of Sciences and Technology, Trondheim

The book is a unique study based on long - term detailed field research.

The author adopts the novel approach of analyzing gender

and masculinity from the perspective of children and their families and how they experience it, and in the process offers a searing and unsparing gaze on the plight of families and children living in difficult circumstances. Dr. Heinonen's findings have profound implications, not just for policy makers and NGOs but for our very conception of 'street children
and

'youth gangs'. It is a major contribution to African ethnography and gender studies.

* Marieme S. Lo, PhD, University of Toronto'


About the Author

Paula Heinonen (nee Sinicco) is of Ethiopian/Italian parentage and grew up in Addis Ababa. She was Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Head of Research at the Centre for Training and Research on Women in Development, University of Addis Ababa, from 1996 to 2001. She is currently Tutor and Visiting Fellows Program Coordinator at the International Gender Studies Centre, University of Oxford.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th May 2013

Author

Paula Heinonen

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Publisher

Berghahn Books

Format

Paperback
180 pages

Categories


Gender studies, gender groups

ISBN

9781782381327

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