Village Life Is Better Than Town Life

Village Life Is Better Than Town Life

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  • Date Submitted: 03/17/2009 11:13 PM
  • Category: English
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"Village Life Is Better Than Town Life": Identity, Migration, and Development in the Lives of Ugandan Child Citizens

African Studies Review ,  Dec 2004   by Cheney, Kristen E

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This article contextualizes Ugandan urban-rural relations through urban children's knowledge, imaginations, and experiences, which are affected by the present sociohistoric moment in Uganda. Influenced by urban-rural migration, changing notions of family and kinship, and the national government's prolific "development-through-education" campaign, urban schoolchildren imagine "the village" both as an integral imaginary space of ethnic identity origination and a location for fulfillment of national citizenship through development.
Résumé: Get article contextualise les relations entre les milieux urbains et ruraux ougandais par le biais des connaissances, de l'imagination et de l'expérience des enfants en milieu urbain sous l'impact du moment socio-historique que l'Ouganda est en train de vivre. Influencés par l'évolution des notions de famille et de parenté, la migration entre les zones urbaines et rurales et la campagne prolifique menée par le gouvernement au niveau national sur le thème "développement par l'éducation," les écoliers urbains conçoivent le "village" comme espace imaginaire intégral dvi berceau de leur identité ethnique et du lieu d'accomplissement de la citoyenneté nationale grâce au développement.
DURING MY FIELDWORK at primary schools in Uganda, I frequently ran across primary school students passionately engaged in formal debates. One popular topic of debate was: "Village life is better than town life." Both pro and con debaters argued forcefully, and it was usually difficult to pick a winner. In one classroom of fifth graders, this debate was particularly lively, and a student adjudicator kept order with a big stick. The children followed academic debate format, calling for points of clarification to the cheers and jeers of their...

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