ISSN 1753-0849

Childhoods Today Online JournalChildhoods Today

An online journal for childhood studies


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Volume 8 Issue 1 - August 6, 2014

Imagining, Appropriating and Silencing:Street-working children’s Strategies of Home-making in Public and Private Space

Sara ten Brinke

In this article I tackle two related and often held assumptions: the first being that children are ‘out of place’ when not in the private sphere and second that home is necessarily related to the private sphere. Based on my ethnographic fieldwork among street-working children in Cusco, Peru, I explore the differences between place-making and home-making and I show that children engage in active processes of home-making, both in a very limited private sphere and in the public sphere. This process is characterised by the creation of belonging, by active appropriation and contestation of space, by relations with related and non-related others, and by over-emphasis on positive emotions. This process of home-making shows that children are neither ‘out of place’ nor ‘out of childhood’ when they are in public space and that home can also be made outside the contours of private space.