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The dominant/marginal lives of young Tanzanians: Spaces of knowing at the intersection of Children's Geographies and Development Geographies.

Smith, Thomas Aneurin 2013. The dominant/marginal lives of young Tanzanians: Spaces of knowing at the intersection of Children's Geographies and Development Geographies. Geoforum 48 , pp. 10-23. 10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.04.011

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Abstract

Development Geography and Children’s Geographies have become distinct sub-disciplines in their own right, yet despite a number of cross-cutting concerns, the theoretical and practical insights of both have only more recently become explicitly shared. I use a case study of an environmental education project with young people in Tanzania to illustrate how a perspective that draws from both Children’s and Development Geographies can deliver significant challenges to both fields, yet also reveals important insights into the lives of young people in the global South. Young people in Tanzania hold distinct environmental knowledges compared to adults, learnt through projects and schools which are focused on ‘conservation’ of the natural environment. This raises challenges for critical Development Geographies, as young people appear to hold ‘dominant’ Western knowledges, yet they are also ‘marginal’ actors in society. For Children’s Geographies, this provokes questions about whether the knowledges of young people should be challenged. Local social hierarchies also govern spaces of knowledge expression. Young people can be more empowered to express their knowledge in the formal spaces of the school compared to the wider community, such that formal spaces may offer more empowering potential. This runs counter to the general thrust of Children’s and Development Geographies, often championing informal, local knowledges and spaces. There is a need to re-think education for young people in Tanzania in terms of its potential for their empowerment, but also to reconsider some of the fundamental assumptions about childhood and local community development which pervade both Children’s and Development Geographies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Publisher: Elsevier
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:04
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/71276

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