This volume incorporates ground-breaking new academic perspectives on the contributions that children and young people make to societies around the world, with a particular focus on learning and work. The chapters in the volume offer conceptual and empirical insights into how young people learn to labour, and the complex social, spatial, temporal, institutional and relational processes that informs their engagements in daily, generational and social reproduction. The editors have intentionally avoided using the terms ‘education’ and ‘employment’ in the title, as this volume is an attempt to capture the multitude of ways, spaces and contexts (not just ‘formal’) in which learning takes place and work is carried out. Here, learning indicates education in the broadest possible sense, to incorporate not just formal schooling and the acquisition of institutionally recognised academic knowledge and credentials, but also informal learning (including socialization and the on-the-job acquisition of skills that takes place almost imperceptibly, over time). In addition to the theoretical perspectives this volume brings on young people’s education and work, other prominent conceptual themes present throughout the work are mobilities, transitions and gender. Following four initial chapters that engage with conceptual issues, the remainder of the volume is divided into two sections, entitled ‘spaces of labouring and learning’ and ‘livelihoods, transitions and social reproduction’. Within these sections, a broad spectrum of empirical chapters demonstrates how young people live, learn and labour in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. These include, among others, geographies of education; interface between migration, learning and livelihoods; cultural politics of human capital formation; schooling and work; citizenship education; families and parenting; socialization and informal education; education-induced migration; processes and practices of inclusion and exclusion in educational institutions; part-time work; domestic work; care work; informal livelihoods; entrepreneurship; social transitions; and a wide range of social, economic, cultural, political (structural) forces that intersect and dissect these topics. As the reader will become aware, there is no such thing as a standard educational or work trajectory, a ‘normal’ transition or a straight forward relationship between work, education and social reproduction. Indeed, one of the aims of the volume is deliberately to showcase the diversity that young people’s lives hold in this regard.
About the Author
Tatek Abebe is Associate Professor and Programme Leader of MPhil in Childhood Studies at Norwegian Centre for Child Research, Norwegian University of Sciences and Technology (NTNU). He holds BA in Geography from Addis Ababa University, MPhil in Development Studies and PhD in Human Geography from NTNU.
Tatek’s research interests focuses on the generational, spatial and temporal dimensions of young people’s lives in East Africa. His work intersects youth studies and development geography looking at the ways in which political economic processes transform and are transformed by the livelihood practices of young people. In 2016, he undertook fieldwork on labour, mobility and material realities of post-socialist youth, complementing his decade long research with children and families found on the margins of political economy in Ethiopia.
Tatek is Director of Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa’s (CODESRIA) 2016 Child and Youth Institute that engages with the theme of African Futures and the Futures of Childhood in Africa. He also leads Nordic Network of African Children and Youth Research. His most recent project (2017-2018) funded by Nordic Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences, involves a series of international seminars to theorize Children’s Migration in Historical and Cross-cultural Perspectives.
Tatek has authored over 40 journal articles and book chapters the following topics: care, work, livelihoods, mobility, poverty, AIDS, wellbeing, intergenerational relationships, education as well as participatory methodologies and ethics. He is on the editorial boards of Children’s Geographies, Childhood, and Fennia: International Journal of Geography. He coedited1 book, and guest-edited, with Y. Ofusu-Kusi, a special issue of Childhood (2016: (3)): Beyond Pluralizing African Childhoods. Tatek’s research feeds his teaching at NTNU which places children and youth at the heart of sustainable development in an interconnected world.
Johanna Waters is Associate Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford. Previously, she worked at the University of Liverpool (from 2004 – 2010) and University of Birmingham (2010 – 2013), having graduated with a PhD in Geography from the University of British Columbia, Canada, in 2004. Whilst in Canada, she was fortunate enough to have worked on the Metropolis Project, exploring the impacts of immigration on urban areas, igniting her interest in aspects of migration, and benefited from an exciting and stimulating graduate environment. She also enjoyed her time spent at Liverpool and Birmingham universities immensely.
Her work over the past 15 years can be characterised by an interest in migration, on the one hand, and education, on the other, and how they come to together in various, complex and interesting ways. Most recently, her work has explored the relationship between (im)mobilities and education in relation to transnational education (TNE), but she has also published widely on topics such as international student migration, transnationalism and split households and the internationalisation of education. Her regional focus is East Asia – she has carried out extensive fieldwork in Hong Kong, as well as in Canada and the UK. She is on the editorial boards of Geoforum and British Journal of Sociology of Education.
Johanna is currently working on a series of articles on internationalism within English secondary schools and is writing a book with Rachel Brooks on materialities and mobilities in education. She is participating in HERG’s ‘shut up and write’ initiative, with the hope of finally producing a paper on family narratives around education (that has been many years in gestation). In addition to research and writing, she enjoys lecturing undergraduates on aspects of human geography.
Tracey Skelton is Associate Professor of Human Geography in the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore. She was previously Professor of Critical Geographies at the University of Loughborough in the UK. The essential elements of her research career focus on people who are socially, politically, and intellectually excluded. Her early work focused on the Caribbean and issues of gender and racial inequality, feminist geographies, and methodological analysis. She has contributed to culture and development debates, particularly through her longitudinal research on the island of Montserrat. Recently, A/P Skelton returned to this field of scholarship through research with volunteers and host organizations in Cambodia as part of a major comparative and collaborative project on development partnerships. She was the principal investigator of a major comparative urbanism research project on the livability, sustainability, and diversity of four Asian cities: Busan in South Korea, Hyderabad in India, Kunming in China, and Singapore.
A/P Skelton is a recognized international leader in the subdiscipline of children’s and young people’s geographies. In particular, her work has served to challenge the invisibility and marginalization of young people from geographic academic research at the same time as it has demonstrated the rich and varied ways in which young people live their lives both spatially and temporally alongside, but differently from, adults. Her research work has been funded by key research institutions such as the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK; the Faculty of Arts and Social Science Academic Research Fund and the Global Asia Institute, both of the National University of Singapore; the Australian Research Council; and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
A/P Skelton was a founding editorial board member of the international journal Children’s Geographies and has been the Viewpoints Editor since 2005 and became the Commissioning Editor for Asia in 2010. She is on the editorial boards of the following journals: Geoforum, the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, Geography Compass, and ACME: International Journal of Critical Geographies (open access). She has coauthored 2 books, edited 3 collections, guest-edited 2 special journal issues, and published more than 70 journal articles and chapters. She is a passionate teacher and graduate supervisor. She is committed to the politics of research dissemination in accessible formats, in particular to enable the participants in her research projects to understand and recognize their coproduction of knowledge whether through specialized small-scale workshops, translation of reports into local languages, or production of audiovisual materials.
Table of Contents
1 Geographies of Laboring and Learning: Introduction
2 African Socialization Values and Nonformal Educational Practices: Child Development, Parental Beliefs, and Educational Innovation in Rural Zambia
3 Geographies of Education: Families, Parenting, and Schools
4 Informal Education, Its Drivers and Geographies: Necessity and Curiosity in Africa and the West
5 Labor as Education
6 Achieving Gender Parity in Education: Achievements and Limitations of Millennium Development Goal 3
7 Education, School, and Learning: Dominant Perspectives
8 Intersections of School, Work, and Learning: Children in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam
9 Encounter, Interaction, and the University: Producing Practices of Inclusion and Exclusion of International Students
10 Migration and the Spaces of Laboring and Learning for Children and Young People in Asian Contexts
11 Geographies of Education-Induced Skilled Migration: The Malaysian Case
12 Adolescents’ Part-Time Work and Its Linkage to Educational Outcomes: The Case of South Korea
13 Cultural Politics of Education and Human Capital Formation: Learning to Labor in Singapore
14 International Student Mobility: A Critical Overview
15 Learning Skills, Building Social Capital, and Getting an Education: Actual and Potential Advantages of Child Domestic Work in Bangladesh
16 Homeless Youth Labor Continuum: Working in Formal and Informal Economies from Highland Guatemala to San Francisco, California
17 Social Reproduction Through Citizenship Education: Performing the Habitus of Pragmatic Compliance
18 Education and Employment Transitions: The Experiences of Young People with Caring Responsibilities in Zambia
19 Economic Practices of African Street Youth: The Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, and Zimbabwe
20 Entrepreneurship as a Possible Solution to Youth Unemployment in Africa
21 Schooling, Generation, and Transformations in Livelihoods: Youth in the Sand Economy of Northern Kenya
22 Reproducing Work, Education, and Revolution: Two Latin American Case Studies
23 Young People’s Marginal Livelihoods and Social Transitions in Urban Brazil: Tale of Four Lives
24 Undocumented and Documented Homeless Youth in the US Labor Force: Economically Useful and Politically Disenfranchised