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Other titles in the Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation series:

Begging as a Path to Progress: Indigenous Women and Children and the Struggle for Ecuador's Urban Spaces (Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation)


Begging as a Path to Progress: Indigenous Women and Children and the Struggle for Ecuador's Urban Spaces (Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1992, Calhuasí, an isolated Andean town, got its first road. Newly connected to Ecuador’s large cities, Calhuasí experienced rapid social-spatial change, which Kate Swanson richly describes in Begging as a Path to Progress.

Based on nineteen months of fieldwork, Swanson’s study pays particular attention to the ideas and practices surrounding youth. While begging seems to be inconsistent with—or even an affront to—ideas about childhood in the developed world, Swanson demonstrates that the majority of income earned from begging goes toward funding Ecuadorian children’s educations in hopes of securing more prosperous futures.

Examining beggars’ organized migration networks, as well as the degree to which children can express agency and fulfill personal ambitions through begging, Swanson argues that Calhuasí’s beggars are capable of canny engagement with the forces of change. She also shows how frequent movement between rural and urban Ecuador has altered both, masculinizing the countryside and complicating the Ecuadorian conflation of whiteness and cities. Finally, her study unpacks ongoing conflicts over programs to “clean up” Quito and other major cities, noting that revanchist efforts have had multiple effects—spurring more dangerous transnational migration, for example, while also providing some women and children with tourist-friendly local spaces in which to sell a notion of Andean authenticity.

About the Author

“With an astute ethnographic eye, Kate Swanson rescripts begging as work, work that brings children and families to towns but provides means for their home villages to stay afloat, work that is embedded in kin networks whose sprawling geographies give new meaning to the notion of extended family, work whose received constructions suggest laziness and shame but which offers young people the autonomy to go to school and otherwise advance in their encounters with a rapidly globalizing economy. Reimagining the situated practices of begging and household reproduction strategies in Ecuador, Begging as a Path to Progress works across scale and locality to see the country in the city, the city in the country, and probe the differentiated consequences of global tourism and policies like ‘zero tolerance’ as they ricochet across national frontiers.”—Cindi Katz, author of Growing Up Global: Economic Restructuring and Children’s Everyday Lives

Table of Contents

ix List of Illustrations

xi Acknowledgments

1 Introduction: Unraveling Myths

12 one. Ecuador: Economic Crisis, Poverty, and Indigenous Identities

29 two. Indigenous Childhoods: Gender, Work, Education, and Migration in the Andes

50 three. Migrant Childhoods: Street Work and Youth Identities

74 four. Antibegging Rhetoric: Gendered Beggars, Child Beggars, and “Disguised” Beggars

92 five. Race, Space, and the City: Whitening the Streets of Quito and Guayaquil

111 Conclusion: Begging as a Path to Progress

119 Notes

123 References

137 Index

Product Details

Swanson, Kate
University of Georgia Press
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Poverty & Homelessness
Indians of South America -- Urban residence.
Indian women - Ecuador - Quito -
Sociology - General
Human Geography
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation
Publication Date:
15 b&w photos; 2 maps
9 x 6 x 0.49 in 0.84 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Poverty

Begging as a Path to Progress: Indigenous Women and Children and the Struggle for Ecuador's Urban Spaces (Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation) New Hardcover
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Product details 152 pages University of Georgia Press - English 9780820331805 Reviews:
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