Negotiating autonomy: Childhoods in rural Bolivia.

Punch, S. (2001). Negotiating autonomy: Childhoods in rural Bolivia. In L. Alanen & B. Mayall (Eds.), Conceptualizing child-adult relations (p. 22-36). London: RoutledgeFalmer. Paperback ISBN: 9-780-41523-1596; eBook ISBN: 9-780-20346-7220.

Author’s Chapter Summary: 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.(Reprinted by permisison of Taylor Francis ( Many Tayor & Francis and Routledge books are now available as eBooks:

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