THE PLIGHT OF ORPHANED AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN ZIMBABWE

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CHAPTER 2 THE PLIGHT OF ORPHANED AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN ZIMBABWE

INTRODUCTION

Chapter 1 being an introductory chapter covers background to the study, statement of the problem, research sub-questions, methodology adopted as well as the study sample and data analysis. A brief literature review was also given to provide a context of the research problem. Chapter 2 focuses on the literature relating to the situation of OVC in Zimbabwe. Literature review is critical in research in that it helps the researcher to establish what has been done on the topic to avoid duplication of other people’s research. Through a literature review, the researcher can also discover research strategies and specific data collection approaches that have not been productive in topics similar to the one under investigation. Interpretation of research results can also be facilitated by literature reviewed when findings are compared with findings from previous studies. The literature reviewed in this chapter is confined to Zimbabwe in order to give a better understanding of the OVC situation in the country. The Neo-Marxist theory which undergirds the study is also explored in this chapter

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

This study is anchored in Coleman’s (1988) and Bourdieu’s (1986) social capital theories. Coleman’s (1988) and Bourdieu’s (1986) theories of social capital are related but belong to different sociological perspectives (Rogosic & Branovic, 2016:81). Bourdieu is a Neo -Marxist hence his theory is rooted in the conflict perspective while Coleman’s theory is rooted in structural functionalism (Haralambos & Holborn, 2010: 625; Giddens & Sutton, 2013:415). The section below focuses on the tenets of the social capital theory as opined by Coleman (1988) and Bourdieu (1986) and relates them to the situation of in-school OVC

Coleman’s Theory on Social Background and Educational Attainment

Coleman was an American sociologist who conducted research on one of the key issues of his time, namely differential academic performance of children from different social origins (Hurn, 1993:132; Wang, 2008:119). Most educators in America then, thought differential educational performance between children from different social origins was due to two factors: quality of schools, and the ability or motivation of students (Hurn, 1993:133; Schaefer, 2010:123). Coleman’s (1996) study on equality of educational opportunity revealed that there was no relationship between school quality and student achievement; instead, the research found that, it was family background that made the difference. Coleman (1988:98) posited that family background is an important factor in determining achievement in school. He divided family background into three categories, namely, financial capital, human capital and social capital (Coleman, 1988:115). The components of family background identified by Coleman are explained and linked to the circumstances of OVC in the following subsections.

Coleman’s social capital theory

According to Coleman (1986:98), social capital is a social structure that determines the activity of an individual in a structured context. For Coleman (1988: 95), social capital is complex; it encompasses relationships and linkages between individuals in social institutions like the family. Coleman’s social capital theory borrowed heavily from the theory of rational choice (Rogosic& Baranovic, 2016:82).The theory of rational choice views social capital as a promoter of individual action that results in social mobility (Coleman & Fararo, 1992:41). This implies that individuals enter in relationships with others expecting to benefit from such investments.
According to Coleman (1988:114), social capital is productive in that it facilitates the achievement of certain goals which may be impossible to achieve in its absence. Coleman (1988:100) opines that social capital resides in the structure of relationships between actions and among actions. Social capital is viewed as a resource for people (Coleman, 1988:110). Coleman and his followers operationalised the concept social capital by highlighting that social capital in the family relates to the quality of family relations and family structure as well as social capital of the community which refers to the quality of relationships between members of the community. For Coleman (1993:10), social capital encompasses a network of relationships of all the individuals who are members of a part of society such as the school. With regard to the social capital in the school, Schaefer-McDaniel (2004:15) posits that it encompasses relationships between all subjects in the school context. He further opines that the power of the social capital of the school is related to how closed the network is.

Social capital in the family

According to Coleman (1988:109), family background is a major factor that affects achievement in schools. He further observed that there is no single family background, but that family background comprises three components: financial capital, human capital and social capital (Coleman, 1988:112).
 

Financial capital

Financial capital refers to the family’s wealth (Coleman, 1988:14). He adds that financial capital provides the physical resources that facilitate achievement in education. Some facilities that are catered for by the financial capital include a fixed place in the home for studying, materials to aid learning and financial resources to address family problems (Coleman, 1988:98; Hurn, 1993:135).Bourdieu (1986:243) adds financial capital ensures that physical materials that facilitate academic performance are procured for example study rooms and textbooks as well as empowering families to address nutritional needs of children under their care. The financial capital of OVC is critical in this study, and is explored in the context of education.

Human capital

According to Coleman (1988:99), human capital is measured by the parents’ education but, if the human capital of parents (education) is not turned into social capital, namely, time parents spent engaged with children in educational matters, it will be of no benefit to the child. Coleman (1988:108) concludes that human capital of parents such as the level of education if not transformed into social capital in form of relationships in the family cannot benefit the child’s educational opportunities. In addition Coleman (1988:110) opines that human capital of parents does not benefit children easily but entails parents seeking and creating opportunities to connect with schools and teachers. For example, when parents help their children to do homework and attend school meetings, the human capital of parents will benefit the child. In view of these observations, parents should be role models in terms of educational aspirations of children. In additionColeman (1988: 115) opines that structural deficiency (lack of parental attention to children) compromises the utility of human capital as children may not benefit from it due to lack of sound social relationships between parents and children. In this study, the education of OVC is examined in the light of the influence of human capital on educational attainment.

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Social capital and educational attainment

Social capital has two categories, namely, family and outside the family capital (Coleman, 1988:97). This section explores the two types of social capital and how they influence the educational opportunities of learners including OVC.Social capital in the family and education
Coleman (1988:96) assets that social capital relates to the care and attention parents give to their children. He elaborated that parents’ social capital encompasses parents attending school meetings, checking children’s homework and their expectations for children’s education (Coleman, 1988:100). The physical absence of adults, a situation called ‘structural deficiency’, impacts negatively on the education of a child (Giddens, 2009:643; Schaefer, 2010:52). Structural deficiency is one of the challenges encountered by OVC (Seruwagi, 2012:85). According to Farganis (2011:249), structural deficience in contemporary society is characterised mainly by single parent and child-headed families. Although single-parent and child-headed phenomena are presented as structural deficiencies, this may be more applicable in western societies than in the African context where traditional mechanisms of childcare, like the extended family, absorb the OVC (Seruwagi, 2013:68). However, in some instances, the physical presence of adults does not benefit children particularly if there is no strong bond between parents and children. (Haralambos, Holborn & Heald, 2010:625).The importance of social capital to the education of a child, particularly the negative impact of structural deficiency is crucial in this study, since some vulnerable children are orphans who experience consequences of structural deficiency. Against this backdrop, the role of teachers in loco parentis will come under the spotlight in the current study.

Social capital outside the family

Social capital outside the family has also been observed to be critical to the educational attainment of a child (Rogosic & Baranovic, 2016:83). Social capital outside the family refers to social relationships that exist among parents as well as relationships with institutions in the community (Coleman, 1988:119).Research has shown that the educational achievement of learners is related to various forms of capital that individuals possess or do not possess (Coleman 1988:96; 1982:73; Doolen, 2009:55; Sullivan, 2001:16). For example, Pishghadam, Noghami and Zabili’s (2011) study in Iran revealed that learners who have more access to the different forms of capital achieve higher levels in education. Thus, Acar (2011:23) observes that closely knit families and communities provide a conducive learning environment to the children in form of well-resourced schools that stimulate them to succeed. The question that begs an answer in this study is: how accessible are the different forms of capital to the in-school OVC to support their educational success?

Limitations of Coleman’s social capital theory

Coleman’s concept of social capital was criticised on the grounds that it is tautological and circular that is, it views social capital as existing if it brings out benefits to the community (Rogosic & Baranovic, 2016: 87). This criticism is not novel since Coleman’s social capital theory is rooted in the functionalist perspective which has also been criticised on the same grounds (Giddens & Sutton, 2013:56; Haralambos & Holborn, 2010:516). Durlauf (1999:4) adds that Coleman’s social capital theory fails to make a distinction between causes and consequences. Tautology in Coleman’s theory was also noted in his failure to distinguish between the individual’s desire to enter into relationships with members of the family or community and the challenges they encounter in securing such relationships (Portes, 1998:18). Similarly, Schucksmith (2000:210) rejects Coleman’s view that social capital is easily accessible, arguing that such a view conceals inherent social inequalities, as possession of resources depends on the social and cultural capital individuals already possess. Notwithstanding the criticism of Coleman’s social theory, research confirmed that social capital facilitates life chances (Dika, 2003:32; Harper & Griffin, 2011:23). Thus, the researcher deemed the theory relevant to anchor this study

Bourdieu’s Concept of Social Capital

Social capital encompasses the resources the family or community commands and relationships among members in a particular community (Bourdieu, 1986:242). Members of the family or community can use the social capital to advance themselves in different spheres of life such as education and employment (Bourdieu, 1986:241).
According to Bourdieu (1986: 240) different social capitals are influenced and shaped by the economic capital. This view is in tandem with Karl Marx’ deterministic theory which stipulates that economic factors determine an individual‘s life chances (Giddens and Sutton, 2013:540). Thus Bourdieu (1990:62) observes that an individual’s life opportunities such as access to education are largely determined by external factors such as socio- economic status. He argues that possession and access to capital is unevenly distributed in society. To Bourdieu (198:2400) those who own and control economic forces use their economic power to pass on their privileges to their sons and daughters thereby maintaining the status quo (Bourdieu, 1990:62). Bourdieu’s theory is more pessimistic than that of Coleman where he emphasises that the power of an individual and his actions are conditioned by the social factors and that social capital serves to transfer cultural and economic capital from generation to generation to preserve the existing order(Rogosic &Baranovic, 2016:90). In his social capital theory, Bourdieu (1990:63) included the concepts of ‘field’, a kind of game theory where “social fields are places where people struggle for position and play to win” (Social Theory rewired, 2016:n.p.),and ‘habitus ‘which refers to “the physical embodiment of cultural capital” of “the deeply ingrained habits, skills, and dispositions that we possess due to our life experiences” (ibid.).The concepts habitus and field provide an explanation of both social class position and the life opportunities associated with different social classes(Bourdieu, 1986:242). In view of Bourdieu’s conceptualisation of the concepts habitus and field, the question this research seeks to answer is: do the in-school OVC share the same habitus with non-OVC?

Differences Between Bourdieu and Coleman’s Conceptualisation of Social Capital

There are some differences between Bourdieu and Coleman understanding of the concept social capital explores in this section. Coleman (1988:250) views social capital as a concept that encompasses the strength and quality of networks in the family and beyond while Bourdieu (1986:70) views the concept as referring to all the resources controlled by the family and groups beyond the family. To Bourdieu (1986:71), social capital encompasses the totality of resources that stem from belonging to groups beyond the family. In addition, Bourdieu views the level of parental education as an aspect of cultural capital; on the other hand, Coleman views it as a measure of human capital of the family (Rogosic &Baranovic, 2016:88).
Another difference between Bourdieu and Coleman’s concepts of social capital is that Bourdieu does not include social relationships of members in organisations such as schools (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1990:54). To Bourdieu (1986:65), the individual’s networks of acquaintances should be strong enough to support achievement of set goals. According to Bourdieu (1986:68), social institutions like schools and colleges are used by the economically powerful groups in society to advance their interests such as offering their children highly valued knowledge. Thus, Bourdieu focuses more on the socio-economic status and cultural capital of an individual in the attainment of educational goals than on social capital as suggested by Coleman (Rogosic and Baranovic 2016:89). On this basis, Bourdieu’s theory is more plausible than Coleman’s in that research has revealed that economic capital is positively related to educational achievement (Fernandez-Kelly & Haller, 2009:8; Lekhetho, 2013:388). Thus, scholars who follow Bourdieu’s approach claim that differences in possession of social capital by individuals are due to differences in the possession of economic capital (Bruen, 2014:56; Doolen, 2009:243).
Although there are some differences between Bourdieu and Coleman’s social capital theories, some authors like Ho (2003:45), advocate for an integrated approach. Bourdieu and Coleman’s concepts of social capital theory can be integrated as they involve complementary definitions of social capital (Rogosic & Baranovic, 2016: 89). To Burt (1997:143) and Lin (2001:85), the integrated approach helps to overcome the limitations of both Coleman and Bourdieu’s models. For example, Tiery’s (2006) study of the social capital of an organisation and its efficiency combined the two. The social capital of an organisation was viewed through Coleman’s concept of social capital of an organisation where all the internal relationships and common norms and values were examined in relation to the efficiency of the organisation (Tiery, 2006:54). Relationships beyond the organisation not related to norms and values of the group were also studied and related to an individual’s achievement in the organisation (Rogosic & Baranovic, 2016:90). The current study adopts an integrated approach where Coleman and Bourdieu’s concepts are applied to study the social capital of rural primary schools and their influence on the welfare of in-school OVC

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DECLARATION 
DEDICATION
ABSTRACT 
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND .
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.4 THE MAIN RESEARCH QUESTION
1.5 AIM OF THE STUDY
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.7 RESEARCH METHODS .
1.8 TRUSTWORTHINESS OF QUALITATIVE DATA
1.9 IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS
1.10 DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
1.11 ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY
1.12 Motivation to undertake the study
1.14 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 2: THE PLIGHT OF ORPHANED AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN ZIMBABWE
2.1 INTRODUCTION
2.2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.3 THE CONCEPTS ‘ORPHAN’ AND ‘VULNERABILITY’
2.4 DRIVERS OF CHILD VULNERABILITY IN ZIMBABWE
2.5 CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED BY OVC
2.6 EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE OF OVC IN ZIMBABWE
2.7 PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN CHILDREN’S EDUCATION
2.8 CARE AND SUPPORT STRUCTURES FOR OVC IN ZIMBABWE
2.9 LEGISLATION FOR THE PROTECTION OF OVC IN ZIMBABWE
2.10 POLICIES SUPPORTING CHILDREN IN ZIMBABWE
2.11 PROGRAMMES TARGETING OVC IN ZIMBABWE
2.12 THE OVC SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE
2.13 ZIMBABWEAN PRIMARY SCHOOLS’ CAPACITY TO MEET THE MATERIAL NEEDS OF IN-SCHOOL OVC
2.14 CHALLENGES FACED BY OVC IN ACCESSING EDUCATION IN ZIMBABWE
2.16 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 3:THE DISCOURSE ON OVC CHALLENGES AND INTERVENTIONS .
3.1 INTRODUCTION
3.2 THE MAGNITUDE OF THE OVC PROBLEM IN THE WORLD
3.3 INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL DECLARATIONS ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
3.4 CHALLENGES FACED BY OVC
3.5 CHILD-HEADED FAMILIES AND THE WELL-BEING OF OVC
3.6 OVC AND CHILD ABUSE
3.7 THE GENDER FACTOR IN THE WELL-BEING OF OVC
3.8 CHILD CARE THEORIES AND THE SITUATION OF OVC
3.9 OVC CARE THEORIES AND PRACTICES
3.10 OVC CARE SYSTEM IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
3.11 THE ROLE OF THE FAMILY IN THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN
3.12 THE ROLE OF EDUCATION IN THE CONTEXT OF HIV/AIDS AND OVC
3.13 THE CAPACITY OF SCHOOLS TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF OVC
3.14 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 4: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
4.1 INTRODUCTION
4.2 RESEARCH PARADIGMS
4.3 ONTOLOGICAL AND EPISTEMOLOGICAL ISSUES
4.4 RESEARCH DESIGN.
4.5 THE POPULATION
4.6 THE SAMPLE
4.7 DATA COLLECTION PROCEDURE
4.8 DATA COLLECTION METHODS
4.9 TRUSTWORTHINESS OF QUALITATIVE DATA
4.10 DATA ANALYSIS PROCESS
4.11 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
4.12 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 5DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
5.1 INTRODUCTION
5.2 DEMOGRAPHIC DATA OF PARTICIPANTS
5.3 THE RESPONSIVENESS OF SCHOOLS TO THE NEEDS OF THE OVC
5.4 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
5.5 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 6: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.1 INTRODUCTION
6.2 SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
6.3 SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEW
6.4 STRUCTURES FOR ASSISTING OVC IN RURAL PRIMARY SCHOOLS
6.5 POSSIBLE STRATEGIES FOR EMPOWERING SCHOOLS TO SUPPORT OVC
6.6 SUMMARY OF THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
6.7 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
6.8 RURAL PRIMARY SCHOOLS AND PROVISION OF PSYCHOSOCIAL NEEDS OF OVC
6.9 STRUCTURES AND PROGRAMMES IN SCHOOLS TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF OVC
6.10 STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE THE WELFARE OF IN-SCHOOL OVC
6.11 Contribution of the study to scholarship
6.12 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
6.13 RECOMMENDATIONS
6.14 A MODEL TO IMPROVE THE WELFARE OF IN-SCHOOL OVC
6.15 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY
6.16 CONCLUSION
REFERENCES
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