Informal Economy Grant

Informal Economy .


  • The presence of street children in the developing world has been the subject of international public scrutiny and academic interest for nearly forty years. The dominant representation of street children as a symbol of urban decay has led to efforts to eliminate their public presence. For this research project, graduate student Amy Ritterbusch, supervised by Dr. Patricia Price, will undertake research on this marginalized population often overlooked in the academic research literatureThe condition and protection of street children remains an issue that has been ineffectively addressed by governmental and non-profit institutions, and misunderstood in academia with respect to where they exist and who they are. Over a 12 month period, the researchers will utilize child-led, ethnographic methods integrated with archival research to examine the social lives and spaces of twenty urban street children in Bogotá, Colombia. Using a multiple methods approach for data collection that will include participatory mapping, ethnography, photography, and the analysis of government and institutional documents, the researchers will explore from which sector of the urban population these children come, where street children spend their day, and the types of activities in which they participate. The research will also document the perceptions and the realities of street children's lives, and explore the paucity of data and knowledge of female children as compared to their male counterparts.In answering these questions, this research will focus on the "lived experiences" of street children, and consider what social forces contribute to them becoming and remaining a member of this marginalized population. The results are expected to reveal the broader social contexts in which these children live, seemingly invisible to society. The results will also produce knowledge about a population that is largely missing in the Latin American literature on children as well as augment the scarcity of social science research on children in the global south, children existing outside of families and homes.

date/time interval

  • August 15, 2009 - September 30, 2012

sponsor award ID

  • 0903025