Book Chapter

Negotiating Autonomy: Childhoods in Rural Bolivia



Punch S (2001) Negotiating Autonomy: Childhoods in Rural Bolivia. In: Alanen L & Mayall B (eds.) Conceptualising Child-Adult Relations. The Future of Childhood Series. London: Taylor & Francis (RoutledgeFalmer UK), pp. 23-36.

First paragraph: This chapter, based on my empirical study of children’s lives in rural Bolivia, exemplifies ways in which children as active agents can negotiate relative autonomy within the structural constraints of childhood in relation to more powerful, adult, social actors (see Harden and Scott 1998). The structures of adult society limit children’s opportunities for asserting their autonomy. Children live in a world in which the parameters tend to be set by adults, especially in relation to children’s use of time and space (Ennew 1994). Therefore it is important to see how they negotiate their position within the constraints of that bounded world. It is necessary to explore children’s competencies and strengths, as well as their constraints and limits, and their strategies for negotiating with adult society.

childhood; autonomy; independence; Bolivia; rural; coping strategies; negotiation; School-to-work transition Bolivia; Youth Employment Bolivia; Child development Research

Title of seriesThe Future of Childhood Series
Publication date30/04/2001
PublisherTaylor & Francis (RoutledgeFalmer UK)
Publisher URL…sbn9780415231596
Place of publicationLondon

People (1)


Professor Samantha Punch
Professor Samantha Punch

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology