'Becoming somebody': youth transitions through education and migration in Peru


The past few decades have witnessed international pressure to get more children in the world educated, for longer. The view that school education is core to definitions of good childhoods and successful youth transitions is increasingly widespread, globally and locally. However, structural inequalities persist and migration for education has become an important individual, family and community response to overcome these gaps. This article explores the relationship between migration and educational aspirations among a group of young people participating in Young Lives, an international study of child poverty, in Peru. It draws on survey and qualitative data collected on a cohort of children being tracked by the study over a 15-year period, from the time they were 8 years old (2002) into early adulthood (2017). Young people and their parents connect migration with the process of 'becoming somebody in life' and with their high educational aspirations. This is linked to intergenerational dependencies and the roles that children play in mitigating family poverty. Their aspirations are generated against a country backdrop of economic and social inequalities, a recent history of political violence and resulting mass displacement, and established and diverse patterns of internal and international migration.


Crivello, G. Journal of Youth Studies (2011) 14 (4) 395-411 [DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2010.538043]

‘Becoming somebody’: youth transitions through education and migration in Peru

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