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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
Author, Analytic
Henry-Lee, Aldrie
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A Sociology of Child Poverty in Jamaica
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Proceedings Title
SALISES 12th Annual Conference
Date of Meeting
March 23-25, 2011
Place of Meeting
The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel
Place of Publication
Kingston, Jamaica
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Abstract
Millions of dollars have been spent on poverty reduction strategies in Jamaica since 1962. While there has been a reduction in absolute poverty levels in Jamaica, child poverty remains problematic. Poverty rates among children remain higher than their adult counterparts. While only 37% of jamaicans are children, almost one in every two Jamaicans who live in poverty is a child. In 2009, 44.3% of persons who lived below the poverty line were children. Of all children, 20.4% live in poverty while 14% of adults were poor. Children in rural areas are particularly vulnerable. This paper attempts to provide a sociology of child poverty for Jamaica. Child poverty in Jamaica is examined at the macro, meso and micro levels. What are the actions at each level that further entrench child poverty in Jamaica? what is it in the social process that facilitate the continued high levels of child poverty? Using secondary and primary data sources, the paper argues that there are some intrinsic features at the state level, in the institutional policy framework and the behavioural patterns, norms and values of groups and individuals at the micro level that facilitate the persistence of high levels of child poverty in Jamaica. The paper concludes that unless there is concerted and sustained reform at all three levels, a child-related Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving by 2015, the number of children living in poverty will be difficult to attain.....
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