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ERIC Number: EJ968682
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0951-0605
Child Soldiers and Iconography: Portrayals and (Mis)Representations
Denov, Myriam
Children & Society, v26 n4 p280-292 Jul 2012
Over the past decade, child soldiers have inundated the popular media. Images of boys armed with AK47s appear ubiquitous, providing a cautionary tale of innocent childhood gone awry. While these representations turn commonly held assumptions of a protected and innocuous childhood on its head, what they conceal is as provocative as what they reveal. Popular news media tells us little about the children behind the guns or the complexity of their wartime and post-war experiences. Attempting to move beyond the narrow depictions, this paper explores the realities of a cohort of child soldiers in Sierra Leone and their experiences of armed conflict. Drawing upon in-depth interviews conducted over a two-year period, children's experiences defy the limiting portrayals offered by media discourse. While these children are frequently constructed through a framework of extremes (as either extreme victims, extreme perpetrators or extreme heroes), in reality, the lives of these children fall within the grey, ambiguous and paradoxical zones of each.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sierra Leone