Child care and poverty in South Africa

Type Journal Article - Journal of Children and Poverty
Title Child care and poverty in South Africa
Volume 13
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
Page numbers 1-19
This article draws on ethnographic research with children and their caregivers to explore the interaction between poverty and the nature and quality of child care in a resource-poor urban community in South Africa. The authors attend to issues such as mobility and “family fragmentation,” the role of the extended family and other networks, and children's contributions to their own and others’ care, all matters that provoke particular concern in the context of HIV/AIDS. The research challenges some of the more conventional interpretations on these matters by pointing to the continuities children experience in what can appear a disrupted care setting as well as the positive aspects of children's involvement in care. It also supports the case for a closer look at men's participation in various child-care roles in a climate where they are often dismissed as absent or unemployed and therefore non-contributory. Future research and policy on child care would benefit from the conceptual approach adopted across this work, which employs a relational lens and encompasses the dynamic contexts in which care is experienced and performed.

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