|dc.description.abstract||The perspective on the social construction of childhood has dominated research on children
and childhood in recent years. The aim of this study was to contribute to these debates and
gain an understanding of the vulnerabilities and resiliency factors in the lives of children
from a working class schooling context in KwaZulu-Natal. Twenty seven children, twelve
boys and fifteen girls were interviewed using interviews, questionnaires and focus groups.
Participatory research techniques including children's drawings and mind mapping were
used. The children's perspectives revealed that there are various risk factors that they are
exposed to which include crime, violence, bullying, racism from teachers, gender
stereotyping, child abuse, pollution, HIV/Aids, alcohol and drug abuse. Concerns that
children have about their future include possible unemployment of their parents, the rising
cost of schooling and contracting HIV/ Aids. Despite this, the children identified various
resiliency factors in their lives such as grand parents, good neighbours, caring teachers and
a comprehensive school programme that includes sport. A common theme across
participants in this study was religion as an identifying and resiliency factor in their lives.
The findings stress the need for schools to address exclusionary pressures that impact on
the well-being of children in this schooling context.||