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"Stripping Them of Their Childhood?": A study of the humanitarian portrayel of child soldiers
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The humanitarian discourse defines children and child soldiers along with women as the main victims of conflicts. They view child soldiers as helpless and deprived of their rights, but this view does not always add up with reality. The anthropological discourse describes child soldiers as a tactic actor who is capable of making logical choices in order to survive. The reality is more complex than the humanitarian discourse portrays. The purpose of this thesis is to examine how child soldiers are portrayed by the humanitarian discourse and how that in turn reproduces a certain picture of child soldiers? How does that portrayal fit into the anthropological discussion of child soldiers? I want to investigate how anthropological research can contribute with an understanding of how the portrayal of child soldiers affect the comprehension of child soldiering. To do this, several analytical tools will be developed based on Anthony Giddens theory of structure and agent and on a discourse analysis method. To answer the research questions, an analysis will be conducted on three humanitarian organisations and three anthropological studies. The organisations and the anthropological studies were chosen based on their involvement and relevance in the discussion and work with child soldiers. The result shows that the main difference between the humanitarian and the anthropological discourses is that the humanitarian discourse portrays child soldiers in a more constricted way. The anthropological discourse explains how child soldiers act according to their own agency and they act based on their existing structure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 29 p.
Keyword [en]
Child soldiers, Anthropology
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-323689OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-323689DiVA: diva2:1107001
Subject / course
Cultural Anthropology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-12 Created: 2017-06-08 Last updated: 2017-06-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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