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A dream denied : Teenage girls in migrant popular neighbourhoods

By J. Olthoff


In the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s, there was a great flow of migration from the rural areas of Peru to the capital city of Lima. This study focuses on the hardships and hopes, the worries and the dreams of the teenage daughters of these migrants. There is an especially strong focus on the interaction between daughters and their parents. When the migrants came to Lima, they came with a dream: they wanted to build a future for themselves and their families that would offer a better life than the one that awaited them en la provincia. It is this dream that continues to form the cognitive and emotional backdrop of the messages that parents try to convey to their daughters. The girls themselves have embraced their parents’ dream as their very own. There are, however, a myriad of factors that prevent its fulfilment. The present study is devoted to examining both the component parts of the dream and those factors - psychological, social, economic - that all too often impede its realisation. The research consisted of a case study conducted in a small pueblo joven (migrant popular neighbourhood) in San Juan de Miraflores, in the southern cone of Lima. The central concerns of this study could be divided into three sets of questions. The first one referred to the prospects for the lives and futures of the girls themselves, the present reality of the girls in the pueblos jovenes and their experience of that reality, and the girls’ future dreams and life projects. The second set of questions related the lives and life projects of the girls to the context of the migrant popular neighbourhoods. What is the relationship between their constructs, experiences and dreams on the one hand and poverty and marginalisation on the other hand, and to what extent does the pueblos jóvenes culture (the so-called cultura chicha) play a role? The third set of questions dealt more specifically with the girls’ interaction with their parents and the role of this interaction in the girls' lives and life projects. What are the main norms and values that parents convey to their daughters and how do these relate to the pueblos jóvenes context? And, secondly, how do the girls respond to the messages their parents send out and how do they, in interaction with the parental messages, construct and reconstruct their own ideas about their lives and futures

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen, girls, childhood, urban poverty, teenage pregnancy, education, sexuality, socialisation, Peru, Latin America, rural-urban migration
Publisher: Utrecht University
Year: 2006
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