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Stories of the intersection: Indonesian "street children" negotiating narratives at the intersection of society, childhood, and work

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Title: Stories of the intersection: Indonesian "street children" negotiating narratives at the intersection of society, childhood, and work
Author(s): Dewayani, Sophie
Director of Research: Dyson, Anne H.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Dyson, Anne H.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Harris, Violet J.; Miller, Peggy J.; Prendergast, Catherine J.
Department / Program: Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline: Elementary Education
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Literacy Narratives Street Children
Abstract: Children’s work in the street of developing countries has been accused of contributing to children’s low enrollment in formal schooling. In Indonesia, the government has been employing the Education for All policy in order to abolish children from working in the street. This dissertation demonstrates that the street children’s disengagement in formal schooling is not related to what the dominant Indonesian society perceives as the “poverty habit” constituted by the street family’s preference of working in the street over learning. Rather, disengagement seems at least partially supported by the discourses of schooling and working embedded in formal schooling practices as well as in the larger society’s perception of these families. This dissertation specifically raises questions regarding various discourses of childhood, work, and schooling embedded in the Indonesian government’s policy, and in the narratives of middle-class communities, media, and a Non-Governmental Organization which works with street children, as well as in the narratives of street children and their families. The dissertation thus investigates how the intersection of discourses may be reflected in formal and non-formal literacy practices participated in by the street children. Specifically, this study seeks to examine various power-relations in different literacy venues in order to better understand first, how literacy is organized by adults to accommodate children’s learning, and second, how during the process children may be given latitude to enact their agency. This study documents the oral narratives as well as the written products and the drawing of children who work in the Pasundan area in Bandung, Indonesia. In addition, data for this study consists of classroom and street activities observations, as well as interviews with children and their families, the NGO staff members, and teachers. Secondary data includes the government’s Children Social Welfare Program policy, media news, and a teacher’s and a tutor’s diary. Data has been analyzed using critical discourse analysis to reveal the discursive meanings embedded in the vocabulary and the linguistic features deliberately used by the participants. This dissertation hopes to extend the contemporary study of childhood and literacy by bringing up the significance of the literacy practice that is respectful of the cultural experience and perspectives of children who work in the street.
Issue Date: 2011-08-25
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/26218
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 Sophie Dewayani
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-08-25
Date Deposited: 2011-08
 

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