Accepted Papers:

Between privilege and poverty: children of international aid workers  


Anne-Meike Fechter (University of Sussex)

Paper Short Abstract:

Based on research among aid workers in Cambodia, the paper asks how parents and children make sense of the contrasts between their own living standards and the local population’s, a situation complicated by the fact that their parents’ work is aimed at, ultimately, addressing injustice and poverty.

Paper long abstract:

Like children whose parents are posted by multinational corporations to developing countries, the children of those who work in overseas aid are often confronted by stark contrasts in living standards between those of a large part of the local population, and their own. Their situation takes on particular significance insofar as the reason for their parents' and thus their own residence in the country is, ultimately, to help address such injustice and poverty. Based on ethnographic fieldwork among international aid workers in Cambodia, the paper explores how parents and children make sense of, and negotiate these particular constellations. Among other issues, it asks how parents conceptualise and communicate these differences to their children; how children understand their situation, and those of members of the host society; and what difference, if any, being an 'aid worker child' makes.

Panel P096
Child migrants or 'third culture kids'? Approaches to children and privileged mobility (ANTHROMOB)