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Bending The Generational Rules: Agency Of Children And Young People In ‘Child-Headed’ Households

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on a study on children's coping mechanisms in child-headed households in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It discusses one of the child-headed households, the household of Aidan. Children in child-headed households are perceived of as living in extremely vulnerable situations. The chapter focuses on children's narratives on the support they receive and seek the choices they were able to make and their position as children with adult responsibilities. This is followed by a discussion and defining of child-headed households. The chapter describes the role and the expected support from the extended family. Subsequently, it discusses the contributing factor of choice in the formation of child-headed households, the support children receive and seek and the ways children shift between positioning themselves as too young or old enough depending on the context.

Keywords: Aidan; child-headed households; South Africa



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