Youth Gangs and Street Children: Culture, Nurture and Masculinity in Ethiopia (BOK)
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"Richly illustrated by quotes and life histories, the manuscript 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 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.