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‘From School to Adulthood’? Young People's Pathways Through Schooling in Urban Ethiopia


  • Laura Camfield

    () (University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.)


This article presents a case study of a rapidly evolving urban community in Southern Ethiopia drawing on survey and qualitative data from Young Lives, a long-term international study of two cohorts of children growing up in poverty (born 1994–1995 and 2000–2001). It uses this to set visible changes in aspirations and experiences of schooling over time in their political and economic context. The article illustrates the value of mixed-methods approaches within international development research by juxtaposing individual and household level data, both survey and qualitative, with data collected through school- and community-based research. This enables analysis of processes of power and social change taking place in contemporary Ethiopia and reflected in changing attitudes towards education and employment. Finally, the chapter highlights the challenges for the Ethiopian education system in meeting children's aspirations, in the context of rapidly declining economic opportunities after leaving school.Cet article présente une étude de cas d’une communauté urbaine en Éthiopie du sud caractérisée par un changement rapide et constant. Cette étude s’appuie sur des données qualitatives et d’enquête tirées de ‘Young Lives’, une étude internationale de long terme menées auprès de deux cohortes d’enfants grandissant dans des conditions de pauvreté (et nés en 1994–95 et en 2000–01). Sur la base de ces données, ce travail situe dans leur contexte économique et politique l’évolution des aspirations et des vécus scolaires des enquêtés. L’article illustre ainsi la valeur des méthodes mixtes pour la recherche sur le développement, juxtaposant des données de ménages et d’individus à la fois qualitatives et d’enquête avec des données tirées de recherches sur les communautés et le systéme scolaire. Ceci permet une analyse des processus de changements sociaux et de pouvoir se produisant dans l’Éthiopie contemporaine, et qui se reflètent en particulier dans l’évolution de comportements vis-à-vis de l'éducation et de l’emploi. Enfin, ce travail met en évidence les défis auxquels le système éducatif éthiopien est confronté pour satisfaire aux aspirations des enfants, et ceci dans un contexte plus large d’une diminution rapide des opportunités économiques pour les jeunes quittant l’école.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Camfield, 2011. "‘From School to Adulthood’? Young People's Pathways Through Schooling in Urban Ethiopia," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 23(5), pages 679-694, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:23:y:2011:i:5:p:679-694

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gabriela Guerrero & Juan Leon & Kirrily Pells & Martin Woodhead, 2014. "Changing Children’s Lives Risks and Opportunities (Cambiando la vida de los niños)," Documentos de Trabajo (Niños del Milenio-GRADE) ninosmcambiandolavida, Niños del Milenio (Young Lives).
    2. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:29:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1057_ejdr.2016.7 is not listed on IDEAS

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