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Critical Consciousness, Social Justice and Resistance

The Experiences of Young Children Living on the Streets in India


Zinnia Mevawalla

Critical Consciousness, Social Justice and Resistance: The Experiences of Young Children Living on the Streets in India reports on an investigation of critical consciousness and social justice conducted with young children living on the streets in Mumbai, India. The book explores how children—through complex, layered and diverse forms of resistant behaviours—struggled against, challenged, and at times, transformed the experiences of structural inequality, injustice and oppression they often faced in their everyday lives. Drawing on insights from critical pedagogy, the study argues that educators can work in solidarity with children, families and communities to transform—rather than simply adapt—to situations of oppression that exist both within and outside of educational contexts. It is argued that practitioners and policy makers open genuine spaces for educational endeavours that value children’s dignity, understand resistant behaviour as a form of communication, and focus on transformative resistance as a praxis of citizenship.

Zinnia Mevawalla is Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Canberra. Her research concentrates on understanding how initiatives in the early years can support participation, inclusion and equity for all.