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Inaugural lecture to shed light on Ghana’s street children

Street children in Ghana
Photo source: www.ghanaflow.net
16 March 2016


Professor Phil Mizen is to deliver his free inaugural lecture next month in which he will draw upon over 10 years of research exploring how children actively make their way on the streets and the problems to survival this poses.

Professor Phil Mizen, who is Head of Sociology and Policy at Aston’s School of Languages & Social Sciences, will demonstrate how an increased number of children in Accra, Ghana are having to eke out an existence on the streets as part of the ‘informal economy’.

Estimates of the number of street children are notoriously unreliable but it is beyond doubt that the number has increased significantly in recent years. It is tempting to regard these children as either troubled or troubling, and it is certainly the case that these children stand outside notions of what a ‘normal’ childhood should involve. Professor Mizen’s research suggests that we need to take care when making such easy assumptions.

Phil has an extensive record of research with children and young people, with a particular interest in child work and youth labour, the informal sector, political protest and qualitative research methodology. Recent funded research projects include a British Academy funded research project examining children’s lives in a large informal settlement in Accra, Ghana; and work package leader on a large EC funded MYPLACE project examining young people’s political and civic engagement in Europe and for which Phil undertook an ethnographic study a local Occupy movement. Phil is also currently involved in a large collaborative research project examining young people’s precarious pathways into the labour market in the Midlands of England, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.  

Professor Mizen’s inaugural lecture, Street Life as Labour: Children Making Their Way Ghana's Informal Economy, is free and open to all to attend. It will be held at Aston University on Thursday 14th April (Sumpner Lecture Theatre, Main Building) at 6.30pm. Registration with tea and coffee is from 6pm and a drinks reception will follow the lecture.

Register to attend or for further information please contact the Aston University Events team at events@aston.ac.uk.  

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