Past Event

Kids in charge? Age and power in Peru’s movement of working children

14 March 2022 16:30–18:00

In this IDS-CIRCY seminar, Professor Jessica Taft traces the complex dynamics of age-based power in children’s movements. Unpacking ideas about ‘kids being in charge’ it explores the possibilities and challenges for contesting the accumulation of power and authority in the hands of older individuals.

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Since 1976, the Peruvian movement of working children has put forward a radical reimagining of childhood and children’s place in politics and society.  They have argued strongly for children’s fundamental equality with adults and for more horizontal intergenerational relationships. Drawing on ethnographic observation and in-depth interviews, this talk traces the complex dynamics of age-based power that emerge in this unique social movement.

It examines how adults, adolescents, and children understand the meaning of age categories, and how these categories shape the processes by which they make decisions, organize the movement’s activities, and influence each other. Based on Professor Taft’s book, The Kids Are in Charge: Activism and Power in Peru’s Movement of Working Children (New York University Press, 2019), the talk draws larger conclusions about the promise and difficulty of building intergenerational social movements.


Professor Jessica K. Taft, Latin American and Latino Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz


Dorte Thorsen, Research Fellow, IDS and member of the steering group for CIRCY

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Covid-19 protocol

Anyone attending this event in person will be required to wear a facemask (unless medically exempt) during the event, and is encouraged to take a lateral flow test prior to coming in to the IDS Building. If your test is positive, or if you are feeling unwell or have any Covid-19 symptoms, please do not come in.


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