Thompson Rivers University Poverty and Child Labor Essay


Required readings:
Taft, Jessica K. 2019. The Kids Are in Charge: Activism and Power in Peru’s Movement of Working Children. New York: New York University Press.
Boucher, Ellen. 2014. “Poverty and Possibility in the Era of Greater Britain.” In Empire’s Children: Child Emigration, Welfare, and the Decline of the British World, 1869-1967, 23–52. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 2015. Chapter 5: Pre-Confederation Residential Schools. In Canada’s Residential Schools: The History, Part 1 Origins to 1939, Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Volume I, pp. 63-82. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. *scroll to Chapter 5
First Call BC. 2013. Child Labour Is No Accident: The Experience of BC’s Working Children. First Call BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition. Report, 26 May 2013.
Estrada, Emir and Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo. 2011. Intersectional Dignities: Latino Immigrant Street Vendor Youth in Los Angeles. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 40(1):102-131.
Kelley, Robin D. G. 1997. “Looking to Get Paid: How Some Black Youth Put Culture to Work.” Pp. 43–77.
Essay Question
Respond to any one of the following questions. Your responses should be well-throughout and well-crafted.
1. Positionality (gender, class, racialization, age, etc) and power clearly matter in when, where, which, and how children and teens are expected to work. This is despite the fact that rights, standards, conventions, and laws supposedly apply to all children within a particular jurisdiction. Using specific examples from our course readings, explain how positionality and power shape the ways that children engage in labour in Canada and/or the U.S.
2. Drawing on examples from Module 2, explain why it may be too simplistic or deterministic to say that “poverty causes child labour.” In other words, explain why some children (and not others) engage in waged or unwaged labour, the various kinds of products they make, and the particular social, economic, and political contexts that force, facilitate, or enable children to work in Canada and/or the U.S.
Essays should be 800-1000 words in length and must reference at least two of the course readings from Module 2. In addition to two-course readings (as they appear on our reading schedule), you may also draw from our supplemental reading material such as the news articles listed under our Module 2 tabs. No other outside research is necessary. Please use full sentences and paragraphs: a brief introduction and conclusion to the essay are useful in terms of organization. Also note that concision (stating things clearly, effectively, and without too much repetition) is important in short essays. Please use ASA-style citations (eg. Kelley 1997:57) for in-text citations and a reference list.
I will be looking for the following as I mark each essay. So, please keep these components in mind as your craft your essay early:
use of course concepts/ideas (2 points)
strength of discussion/analysis (2 points)
organization of ideas (2 points)
writing and citations (1.5 points)

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