Ambiguous Childhoods

Ambiguous Childhoods

Peer Socialisation, Schooling and Agency in a Zambian Village

Nana Clemensen


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Growing up with social and economic upheaval in the peripheries of global neoliberalism, children in rural Zambia are presented with diverging social and moral protocols across homes, classrooms, church halls, and the streets. Mostly unmonitored by adults, they explore the ambiguities of adult life in playful interactions with their siblings and kin across gender and age. Drawing on rich linguistic-ethnographic details of such interactions combined with observations of school and household procedures, the author provides a rare insight into the lives, voices, and learning paths of children in a rural African setting.