Details the possibilities and challenges of intergenerational activism and social movements
Since 1976, the Peruvian movement of working children has fought to redefine age-based roles in society, including defending children’s right to work. In The Kids Are in Charge, Jessica K. Taft gives us an inside look at this groundbreaking, intergenerational social movement, showing that kids can—and should be—respected as equal partners in economic, social, and political life.
Through participant observation, Taft explores how the movement has redefined relationships between kids and adults; how they put these ideas into practice within their organizations; and how they advocate for them in larger society. Ultimately, she encourages us to question the widely accepted beliefs that children should not work or participate in politics.
The Kids Are in Charge is a provocative invitation to re-imagine childhood, power, and politics.
"The Kids Are in Charge is a powerful, provocative, and necessary book. Centering the voices and strategies of the Peruvian movement of working children, Jessica Taft urges us to question assumptions about children—who they are, and who they can be—to imagine childhood otherwise. In engaging and accessible prose, Taft's analysis of children as critical thinkers and political agents should be required reading not only for scholars of Latin America, but teachers, parents, policy makers and everyone concerned with the complexity of childhood." ~María Elena García, author of Making Indigenous Citizens: Identities, Development, and Multicultural Activism in Peru
"While children are gaining global renown anew as activists for the environment and for peace, for gun control, and for human rights, Taft reveals the potent challenge children pose for movements against social inequality, arguing that until we address the hierarchy of age, all other inequalities will fail to crumble. Incisive, empathic, surprising, The Kids Are in Charge is a powerful account of children refusing to settle for a hierarchical, paternalistic status quo, a story of children modeling a new way of being together even as they push for political and institutional change." ~Allison J. Pugh, author of The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity
"The Kids Are in Charge is an insightful scholarly but accessible work on one of the most amazing social and human rights movements of modern history. Jessica K. Taft must be commended for providing new and powerful perspectives to understand this unique phenomenon. She convincingly busts myths about children and builds the case of treating children as equal citizens of this world...Written in beautiful and easy-to-understand language, The Kids Are in Charge is a very well-researched book. It is a must-read if you are interested in Latin America or child rights." ~Washington Book Review