Youth Transitions and Interdependent Adult-child Relations in Rural Bolivia



Punch S (2002) Youth Transitions and Interdependent Adult-child Relations in Rural Bolivia. Journal of Rural Studies, 18 (2), pp. 123-133.;

There are few studies which document youth transitions from school to work in rural areas of the majority world. This paper, based on ethnographic fieldwork in a rural community in Bolivia, considers how young people make decisions about different types of school-to-work transitions which include migrating to continue their formal education, working in the community, or seeking migrant work in the regional town or in neighbouring Argentina. The paper explores how young people negotiate structural constraints over their choice of transition, including the rural location, economic resources, parental attitudes and family background, gender, birth order, social networks and role models. Importantly the paper highlights that underlying young people’s choice of transition are interdependent household relations. In the majority world, in this case in Bolivia, rural young people may achieve economic independence sooner than those in the minority world, but long-term family interdependence tends to be maintained throughout the life-course. This paper suggests that the notion of negotiated interdependence is a more appropriate way to understand youth transitions and relations between young people and adults in rural areas of the majority world.

transitions; interdependence; bolivia; children; young people; youth transitions; migration; birth order; School-to-work transition Cross-cultural studies; Education and state Cross-cultural studies; Youth Employment Bolivia; Students Employment Bolivia; School-to-work transition Bolivia

Journal of Rural Studies: Volume 18, Issue 2

Publication date30/04/2002
Publication date online28/11/2001
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Professor Samantha Punch
Professor Samantha Punch

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology