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Constructions of childhood and western ideologies of street children - Literature review Example

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The Anatomy of Lost Childhood Introduction It is once said that “childhood is the fiery furnace in which we are melted down to essentials and that essentials shaped for good.” This statement by Katherine Anne Porter (2011) suggests that childhood is an essential stage of a person’s life in which qualities are molded into what person he should become when grows older…
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Constructions of childhood and western ideologies of street children
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Download file to see previous pages Being a child on and of the streets may be different in one aspect, but long term results of the situation is equally harmful as it touches issues on child labor and children’s health. Childhood for Street Children Before identifying the possible consequences of being one of the street children, it is important to internalize the meaning of childhood as a phase and the expected characteristics of ‘normal’ children. According to Glasper and Richardson (2006, p. 298), childhood refers to the earlier phase of a person’s life under 18 years or before reaching young adulthood. Aside from underdeveloped physical qualities which are subject to change as they grow older, children are expected to love play as a usual activity. According to Ginsburg (2007, p. 183), play is important in childhood development because it allows children “to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.” In other words, play would develop a child’s cognitive skills and tolerance towards unexpected events such as losing in a game and being sport about it. In the United Kingdom, The Children’s Act of 1989 serves as guidelines in which the rights of the child are protected and sustained through the regulations promoted by the Parliament. The legislation encompassed the responsibilities of both the authorities and the parents or guardians. It is ensured that the act “protect[s] children from the harm which arises from family breakdown or abuse within the family,” however still respecting family lives and avoids “unnecessary intervention” (The Children's Act 1989. (c.1)). How ever the law protects the children, it is still indefinite if it can really protect their absolute population. Deprivation of basic needs would force underprivileged children to see the public street as a new place in which they can sustain themselves. The history of the lives of the street children can be traced from the nineteenth century onwards, since the growth of the industrial market. Especially in Britain's northern and midland counties, “child cruelty” was at its peak which gave inspiration to the formation of legislations protecting children’s rights (Shore, 2009, p. 563). The difficulty of their parents to provide them with proper nourishment encouraged these children to be on the streets to start looking for meager amount of money. Lemba (2002, p. 1) of the United Nation Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reported that most street children are found in the “market, bars, shopping centers, bus stations, and parks.” Most of these children have minimal or no contact at all with their family. Such descriptions would lead to the definition of street children as: “children less than 18 years old, males or females, who spend all or most of their time on the streets who maintain minimal contact with their families resulting to lack of supervision, protection or guidance which makes them vulnerable to hazards.” (Ali, n.d., p. 7) Wernham (2004) cited two categories of street children of which she called as children on the street and children of the street. The slight difference of the two phrases is significant in developing further the definition of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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