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Berg-en-See street boys

Berg-en-See street boys: merging street and family relations in Cape Town, South Africa

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-336
Number of pages16
JournalChildren's Geographies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012


Despite a wealth of research exploring street children's lives, this has tended to focus on the micro-scale, rarely drawing connections with wider society. Yet, it is rare for street children to sever all ties with home and this paper explores these connections by taking a relational approach to the production of street life. Drawing on in-depth qualitative research with 12 boys living on the streets in a coastal suburb of Cape Town, the paper identifies that street children are part of powerful inter- and intra-generational relations that connect them to their families: interdependent but sometimes forced and contested. The paper concludes by identifying that street children are not isolated on the street, but rather positioned relationally in between street and family life building relations within and across spatial boundaries. This has implications for the way in which we conceptualise street children's lives and adds to wider theoretical understandings of childhood as relational.



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