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PARENTS' VIEWS, CHILDREN'S VOICES: Intergenerational Analysis of Child Labor Persistence in Urban Nigeria

Dimeji R. Togunde and EMILY WEBER
International Journal of Sociology of the Family
Vol. 33, No. 2 (Autumn 2007), pp. 285-301
Published by: International Journals
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23070735
Page Count: 17
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PARENTS' VIEWS, CHILDREN'S VOICES: Intergenerational Analysis of Child Labor Persistence in Urban Nigeria
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Abstract

This paper draws on interviews with 1535 parents and their children to provide a comprehensive analysis of the intergenerational dynamic of child labor persistence. From the perspectives of two generations, findings show that child labor is caused by poverty and the need to provide children with training for future careers. Furthermore, a significant number of parents had worked for their own parents while growing up, and this experience influenced their decision to ask their children to work. Moreover, less than a third of the children plan to utilize the labor of their children when they become adults. Anxiety about financial future serves as a major reason for current child laborers to expect child labor to continue with the next generation. The remaining two-thirds who don't plan to utilize child labor mentioned numerous hazards and dangers they counter as compelling reasons to end child labor. Interestingly, children of parents with higher socio-economic status are less likely to desire child labor continuation. Child labor practices may be quite resistant to change in a culture of poverty, however, because it carries tangible social and economic advantages in weak economies. Findings have policy implications for regulating child labor in Nigeria.

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