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Rural Childhoods: Literature review

This paper reviews the literature relevant to children and young people in both Minority and Majority world contexts. It is by no means an exhaustive overview, but it includes recent literature, covering a range of significant issues and themes. The paper is divided into separate sections, reviewing literature relating to Majority world and Minority world rural children and young people. This division allows for the conceptual organisation of the literature.

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Over recent years there has been a significant growth in research studies focusing on the lives and experiences of rural children and young people throughout the world. However, the focus of the research attention has differed between the Majority world and the Minority world . Majority world research has mostly focused on the conditions and experiences of children and young people as related to their work in rural areas. In contrast, Minority world research initially focused on the experiences of children in urban environments, then more latterly on deconstructing the notions of a rural idyll, and exploring issues of the marginalisation and social exclusion of young people.

This paper reviews the literature relevant to children and young people in both Minority and Majority world contexts. It is by no means an exhaustive overview, but it includes recent literature, covering a range of significant issues and themes. The paper is divided into separate sections, reviewing literature relating to Majority world and Minority world rural children and young people. This division allows for the conceptual organisation of the literature. However, a limitation is clearly apparent in the use of broad Minority/Majority world binaries, which dissect the globe, as “the world is not so neatly separated into clear cut and mutually exclusive categories” (Robson, Panelli & Punch, 2007, p. 221).

Beyond the binary are diversity and commonalities, both between and within countries. The rural location provides a common background to disparate lives and diversity of experiences:

Rural locations are regarded as sites of traditional cultural practices, of primary production, of the maintenance of more conservative political structures, and the existence of diverse (sometimes inaccessible) biophysical environments. (Bushin, Ansell, Adriansen, Lahteenmaa & Panelli, 2007, p. 70).

Often, these rural locations have been considered, and lives have been researched, in contrast to urban locations, using another conceptual binary. This paper highlights current literature focusing on the lives and experiences of children and young people in rural environments. 
 

Tags: ["rural childhood", "litterature review", "minority world", "majority world"] By M.A. Powell, N. Taylor and A. Smith
Published Aug. 26, 2008 9:19 AM - Last modified Apr. 17, 2013 4:10 PM