Childhood and Neo-Extractive Development: Shipibo Children’s Shifting Livelihoods and Social Protection in the Peruvian Amazonia

De Carvalho Rodrigues Lopes, Thais (2022) Childhood and Neo-Extractive Development: Shipibo Children’s Shifting Livelihoods and Social Protection in the Peruvian Amazonia. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The social and economic inclusion of Indigenous children in Amazonia, who are overrepresented in poverty indexes, is key for the achievement of Peru’s development goals However, the notion of child well-being that guides social protection may conflict with Indigenous values. This thesis is a case study of children enrolled in social protection programmes in a Shipibo village in Peruvian Amazonia. It aims to understand how children experience State intervention in a village that has been enduring scarcity caused by river contamination and changes in flood patterns. The research was carried out in two stages: firstly, through participant observation and interviews over a period of 7 months. Secondly, through remote and collaborative fieldwork during the COVID-19 pandemic, using various qualitative methods including draw-and-tell, collective mapping, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups with a mixed-gender sample of 48 children (mostly aged 9 to 13) and 11 parents. I complemented this data with document analysis of guidelines for programmes Juntos (a conditional cash-transfer), Vaso de Leche and Qali Warma (which provide school meals), along with Indigenous organisations’ alternative propositions of well-being. Findings indicate that children have conflicting aspirations due to their combined experience of social protection mechanisms and socio-environmental changes. While children’s definitions of a good life share commonalities with those of adults, such as an appreciation for the territory and its socioecological networks, children tend to individualise experiences of ill-being. Consequently, children propose simplistic solutions to problems such as harsher floods, land invasions and labour migration. I argue that the individualisation of ill-being is a consequence of a depoliticised formal education and the separation of children from decision-making spaces. The thesis supports claims that definitions of well-being vary with age (Crivello et al., 2008; Jones & Sumner, 2011) and emphasises the importance of considering political and ecological
changes when analysing children’s aspirations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2023 09:04
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2023 09:04


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