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Family Structure, Parental Perceptions, and Child Labor in Kenya: What Factors Determine Who is Enrolled in School?

Claudia Buchmann
Social Forces
Vol. 78, No. 4 (Jun., 2000), pp. 1349-1378
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3006177
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3006177
Page Count: 30
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Family Structure, Parental Perceptions, and Child Labor in Kenya: What Factors Determine Who is Enrolled in School?
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Abstract

This article combines status attainment research with research on values and beliefs to understand educational stratification in Kenya. With household survey data, I examine the impact of family background and structure, division of household labor, and parental perceptions on children's educational participation. Parents' expectations for future financial help from children and perceptions of labor-market discrimination against women are significant determinants of children's enrollment. Patriarchal norms and child labor have no effect. Educational inequalities are better understood as due to the evaluation of returns to education and household resource constraints than as due to gender stereotypes or reliance on child labor. The results challenge traditional explanations of educational inequality in less industrialized societies and suggest that policies to spark school demand in developing countries may be misguided.

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