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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Beyond Heroes and Villains: The Rediscovery of the Ordinary in the Study of Childhood and Adolescence in South Africa
Author:Seekings, JeremyISNI
Periodical:Social Dynamics
Geographic term:South Africa
social research
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Economics and Trade
Urbanization and Migration
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02533950608628717
Abstract:This article gives an overview of research on childhood and adolescence in South Africa in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. Writing about young people in South Africa in the 1980s and early 1990s was dominated by representations of them as either the 'heroes' or 'villains' of political struggle. During the political transition, young people attracted a rush of attention as the source of a series of supposed social 'problems'. In much of the rest of Africa, also, scholars and the public alike have focused on the participation of children in civil war - as child soldiers - or in other activities that are deemed subversive of social order. In South Africa, moral panics over youth did not persist after the 1990s, as public concern focused on more general social and economic problems. Ironically, this has opened space for researchers to study the everyday worlds of ordinary young people. But the turn to the 'ordinary' in the study of childhood and adolescence does not mean any neglect of processes of change. In South Africa, as in other parts of Africa, children are growing up in a period of rapid social and economic change, amidst continuing urbanization, deagrarianization and educational expansion, changing households and kin relationships, new economic opportunities and prospects, and cultural globalization. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]