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Childhood DeployedRemaking Child Soldiers in Sierra Leone$
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Susan Shepler

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724965

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724965.001.0001

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(p.157) Conclusion
Childhood Deployed

Susan Shepler

NYU Press

This concluding chapter takes up the politics of childhood and youth and extends them to a politics of knowledge creation. There are some clear policy implications that grow out of the research undergone for this book, with the most important of these being that policy makers must be cognizant of the political consequences of their distinction making. Then, and most obviously, it must be acknowledged that the simplistic use of one standard to determine who is a child and who is an adult is not really applicable in the Sierra Leone context. More complex models should be developed that better capture the social complexity behind the marker “youth.” Finally, this chapter ends with a plea to policy makers and child protection programmers everywhere to take ethnography seriously, and reflect on what a from-the-ground-up critical study can reveal about the impact of their interventions.

Keywords:   childhood, youth, political consequences, Sierra Leone, ethnography, knowledge creation

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