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Education as future breakfast: children’s aspirations within the context of poverty in Siaya Kenya

Ngutuku, Eliza (2022) Education as future breakfast: children’s aspirations within the context of poverty in Siaya Kenya. Ethnography and Education, 17 (3). 224 - 240. ISSN 1745-7823

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Identification Number: 10.1080/17457823.2022.2071591


This paper draws on ethnographic data to explore children’s aspirations through education within the context of poverty and vulnerability in Siaya Kenya. Since several children reported eating onge (nothing) for breakfast, they hoped that education would enable them to eat and enjoy a good future. I demonstrate that aspirations as orientations towards desired futures have affective dimensions [Huijsmans, Ansell, and Froerer. 2021. “Introduction: Development, Young People, and the Social Production of Aspirations.” The European Journal of Development Research 33: 1–15]. Consequently, in drawing from Deleuze [1988. Spinoza: Practical Philosophy. San Francisco, CA: City Lights] that affect is a capacity to affect and to be affected, I argue that children’s aspirations in Siaya are an assemblage of personal, relational and non-human factors of poverty, orphanhood, HIV/AIDS and other forms of marginalisation. This assemblage fuels a desire for alternative futures, and/or modifies their aspirations in complex ways. While children’s desired futures might look impossible, their aspirations are also affective becomings [Salazar. 2017. “Speculative Fabulation: Researching Worlds to Come in Antarctica.” In Anthropologies and Futures: Researching Emerging and Uncertain Worlds, edited by Juan Salazar, Sarah Pink, Andrew Irving, and Johannes Sjöberg, 158. London: Bloomsbury], and schooling and education are sites for alternative futures, in Siaya’s continuing present.

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Additional Information: © 2022 The Author Funding Information: This work was supported by Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education [grant number BC8938 PHD 2015-2019]; Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) [grant number ES/P008038/1]. Financial and other support during the writing of this paper was provided by the Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Divisions: IGA: Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2022 09:48
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2022 12:18

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