A Very Interesting Ethnography Of Street Children Essay

1525 Words Nov 25th, 2016 7 Pages
Street children in Brazil have always been a hot topic catching the attention of journalists, photographers, the United Nations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Although street children come under the umbrella of poor children, the former seems to mobilize more social actors than the latter and attracts more funding.

The anthropologist Tobia Hecht presents a very interesting ethnography of street children in his book At Home in the Street, Street Children of Northeast Brazil. Through a research conducted between 1992 and 1993 and in 1995 in Recife and Olanda, he tries to understand the reasons behind the big attention given to street children specifically, despite the large number of children living in favelas affected by extreme poverty. He also analyses how street children perceive themselves differently from other children, how they regard the institutions working with them and how these institutions portray their beneficiaries.

The book is divided in 7 chapters, an introduction and a conclusion. In the introduction, Hecht makes it clear that street children are the “protagonist” of his research in opposition to other scholars and researchers who refer to street children as a “problem” in need of solutions and policies to remove them from the street. The author presents himself as a “participant observer”. In order to understand the group he is studying, it is very important to be part of it but at the same time, being detached or not associated with a…

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