Street children - abandoned or runaway children living on their own - can be found in cities all over the world, and their numbers are growing despite numerous international programs aimed at helping them. All too frequently, these children are viewed solely as victims or deviants to be rescued and rehabilitated. In "Beyond the Victim", sociologist Kamal Fahmi draws on eight years of fieldwork with street children in Cairo to portray them in a much different - and empowering - light. Fahmi argues that, far from being mere victims or deviants, these children, in running away from alienating home lives and finding relative freedom in the street, are capable of actively defining their situations in their own terms. They are able to challenge the roles assigned to children, make judgments, and develop a network of niches and resources in a teeming metropolis such as Cairo. Fahmi suggests that social workers and others need to respect the agency the children display in changing their own lives. Rather than turning to collective advocacy on behalf of street children, social workers should empower them by encouraging their voluntary participation in non-formal educational activities.
Buy Beyond the Victim book by Kamal Fahmi from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(156mm x 236mm x 21mm)
The American University in Cairo Press
Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - Kamal Fahmi
Kamal Fahmi has a Ph.D. in social work from McGill University, Canada. In addition to teaching at McGill and the American University in Cairo, he works as an international consultant in child protection and education as well as in participative action-research methodologies.