Discourses/3. Kenya: Challenging Negative Perceptions around the ‘African Child’

Evelyn Corrado, Leena Robertson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Contemporary childhood studies have portrayed the ‘African child’ as one who is vulnerable and disadvantaged. The developing world construct is a ‘western’ preconceived label, which shapes a universal deprived position for Africans. Nonetheless, this dichotomy is not representative of most African childhoods, which are comfortable and remain unveiled.
The chapter argues that there is need to restructure the African childhood outlook, drawing from their perspectives. A critical analysis will concern the discourses of the ‘African child’ produced by the universal childhood theories, the African childhood accounts and also the current economic and social positions of Africa. The conclusion contends that the African childhood constructions should be re-assessed through ethnography and robust education, for emancipation. This supports the UN Convention rights of the Child’s recognition of children’s right of self-determination.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren's Self-Determination in the context of Early Childhood Education and service
Subtitle of host publicationDiscourses, Policies and Practices
EditorsFederico Farini, Angela Scollan
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic) 978-3-030-14556-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-14555-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Childhood Studies, African Discourses, Social Attributions, Emancipation, Ethnography.

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