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‘It made me realise that I am lucky for what I got’: British young carers encountering the realities of their African peers

Andreouli, Eleni, Skovdal, Morten and Campbell, Catherine (2013) ‘It made me realise that I am lucky for what I got’: British young carers encountering the realities of their African peers. Journal of Youth Studies, 16 (8). pp. 1038-1053. ISSN 1367-6261

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13676261.2013.772574


Despite a growing number of studies comparing the experiences of young carers in the global North and South, little has been done to explore young carers' representations of their global peers. In this paper we examine the reflections of British young carers after having visited an exhibition displaying photos and stories articulating the caregiving experiences of young carers in Zimbabwe and Kenya. We do this to explore the role of safe and transformative social spaces in facilitating positive identity constructions. We draw on the essays and workshop material of 19 British young carers as well as 8 follow-up interviews. A thematic network analysis of the data reveals that British young carers, upon being confronted with the experiences of African young carers, saw their African peers as more marginalised, with heavier duties and with less state support. Their responses echoed victimising representations of Africa as poor and 'underdeveloped'. However, the exhibition material was balanced and also highlighted the strengths and agency of African young carers, which provided some of the British young carers with opportunities to reassess their own circumstances in a more positive way. We conclude that creating social spaces for young carers to reflect on self and others can contribute towards the development of positive young carer identities and resilience.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Taylor and Francis
Divisions: LSE Health
Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2013 14:29
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2023 20:18

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