Street Children

After a short historical overview of the street child phenomenon and a description of the heritage of apartheid in South Africa which is responsible for an upsurge in the numbers of black street children, this article discusses the correlation between family stress and the acceptance of a street life style in South Africa. Analysis of interviews conducted with twenty black street children in Johannesburg indicates that the majority of the children starts committing crimes, once they find themselves on the street. This is due to the interaction between individual factors and the social environment. These individual factors include personality determinants such as physical characteristics, group membership, culturally prescribed roles, and situational determinants. The conclusion is that street children must not be considered pathological, but merely symptomatic of a pathological society. Ref.

Title: Street Children
Author: Peacock, Robert
Year: 1994
Periodical: Africa Insight
Volume: 24
Issue: 2
Pages: 138-143
Language: English
Geographic term: South Africa
Abstract: After a short historical overview of the street child phenomenon and a description of the heritage of apartheid in South Africa which is responsible for an upsurge in the numbers of black street children, this article discusses the correlation between family stress and the acceptance of a street life style in South Africa. Analysis of interviews conducted with twenty black street children in Johannesburg indicates that the majority of the children starts committing crimes, once they find themselves on the street. This is due to the interaction between individual factors and the social environment. These individual factors include personality determinants such as physical characteristics, group membership, culturally prescribed roles, and situational determinants. The conclusion is that street children must not be considered pathological, but merely symptomatic of a pathological society. Ref.