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A social profile of street children in the Durban municipal area with special reference to their deviant activities.

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The street child drama being played out on South African streets continues the process of victimisation begun in the families and communities. Deprivation, poverty, and disorganisation are just some of the characteristics evident in the families and communities of street children . The decision to opt for street life in exchange for the grinding poverty and hardships of family and community life, is a stark illustration of children who have no other options, but a life on the streets. The process of becoming a street child ends with the runaway episode and opens new vistas of victimisation for street children .on the streets. One process ends therefore, and another one begins. It is argued in this study that street children are doubly victimised. Victimisation in the streets sets in motion the process of engaging , in deviant careers, which engenders further victimisation . Three themes are evident in the present study, these are causation, victimisation and deviance. From the discussion of these themes it is possible to construct a social profile of street children, before and after street life . Chapter one introduces the subject for study by discussing the background to the study, rationale behind it, aims, theoretical assumptions and definitions of relevant constructs . Chapter two reviews the literature on street children with specific reference to the causation, victimisation and deviance themes. Chapter three provides a methodological account of the research procedure. Chapters four and five present the findings from the empirical study. The perceptions of street children and service providers are discussed within a symbolic interactionistic perspective and highlight the victimisation and deviance themes in the study. Chapter six contains the recommendations and conclusions.


Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of Durban-Westville, 1995.


Runaway children., Theses--Criminology.