Childhoods in the Majority World: Miniature Adults or Tribal Children?


Punch S (2003) Childhoods in the Majority World: Miniature Adults or Tribal Children?. Sociology, 37 (2), pp. 277-295.

Drawing on ethnographic data from rural Bolivia and applying the theoretical approaches of the minority group child and the tribal child (James et al. 1998), this paper shows that majority world children integrate work, play and school, moving back and forth between child and adult-centred worlds. It argues that majority world children have largely been perceived in relation to their work, and that the overlapping arenas of their everyday lives tend to be ignored. A more holistic perspective which considers how they may combine work and school with play could be more appropriate for understanding children’s childhoods.

childhood; majority world; developing world; childhood culture; sociology of childhood; play; work; Bolivia; Children Bolivia Social conditions; Child welfare Bolivia; Child labor bolivia

Sociology: Volume 37, Issue 2

Publication date31/05/2003
PublisherSage / British Sociological Association