Unequal Childhoods: Young Children's Lives in Poor Countries, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Unequal Childhoods

Young Children's Lives in Poor Countries, 1st Edition

Edited by Helen Penn


238 pages

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pub: 2005-02-24
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An expert in her field, Helen Penn discusses the inequalities between and within countries of childhood poverty and how this poverty is recognized and defined through the following case-studies:

  • Kazakhstan - once part of the Soviet Union
  • Swaziland - a country in Southern Africa devastated by HIV and AIDS
  • Himalayan India
  • Brazil - one of the world's most unequal countries.

These four case studies illustrate the diversity and complexity of the responses to the attempts to globalise childhood and highlight the need to address the inequalities of childhood experience.


'Penn has visited the places she describes, so she is able to give first-hand accounts … Penn concludes these shocking snapshots of an international disgrace with positive suggestions about what can be done … It is a powerful story well told.' - Times Educational Supplement

'Penn … gives an insight into the practices of governments and international non-governmental organisations. By summarising discourses on these key theories it is possible for readers from all disciplines to understand the key issues being addressed. Further, the language used throughout the book makes it easily readable and understandable.' - Children's Geographies

Table of Contents

1. Global inequalities 2. Interpreting Poverty 3. Understanding Early Childhood 4. Lending a Helping Hand 5. Kazakhstan 6. Swaziland 7. India 8. Brazil 9. The Ethics of Intervention

About the Editor

Helen Penn is Professor of Early Childhood, University of East London.

About the Series

Contesting Early Childhood

This groundbreaking new series questions the current dominant discourses surrounding early childhood, and offers instead alternative narratives of an area that is now made up of a multitude of perspectives and debates.

The series examines the possibilities and risks arising from the accelerated development of early childhood services and policies, and illustrates how it has become increasingly steeped in regulation and control. Insightfully, this collection of books shows how early childhood services can in fact contribute to ethical and democratic practices. The authors explore new ideas taken from alternative working practices in both the western and developing world, and from other academic disciplines such as developmental psychology. Current theories and best practice are placed in relation to the major processes of political, social, economic, cultural and technological change occurring in the world today.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Aims & Objectives
EDUCATION / Multicultural Education
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General