Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Childhood cancer in El Salvador : A preliminary exploration of parental concerns in the abandonment of treatment
    Rossell, Nuria ; Gigengack, Roy ; Blume, Stuart - \ 2015
    European Journal of Oncology Nursing 19 (2015)4. - ISSN 1462-3889 - p. 370 - 375.
    Abandonment of treatment - Childhood cancer - Low-income countries - Parents perspectives - Qualitative research

    Purpose: In El Salvador, children under 12 diagnosed with cancer have access to free treatment at a specialized national facility. Until recently, 13 percent of patients annually abandoned therapy-a serious loss of lives and scarce resources. This qualitative study explores how some parents perceived their child's cancer and treatment, and what led them to stop bringing their child for chemotherapy. Method: In in-depth interviews, parents of six children who abandoned their child's cancer treatment discussed sickness and life circumstances during the course of treatment. Results: Poverty, effects of treatment, mistrust, emotions and religious convictions all figured in the parents' explanation of their actions. However, each family weighed these concerns differently. It was the interaction of the concerns, and not the concern per se, that represented the explanatory frameworks the families used to explain stopping their child's treatment. This finding illustrates the parents' navigation among a collection of variable concerns, rather than exposing one fixed cause for their behavior. For example, poverty affects a parent's worldview as well as concrete living conditions, and therefore has a complex relationship with abandonment of treatment. Thus, it follows that strategies to reduce treatment abandonment (and increase a child's chance for survival) must be multidimensional. Conclusions: Qualitative studies of how families perceive childhood cancer and treatment can illuminate the processes and relationships involved in abandonment of treatment. This approach can also show how families' living circumstances frame their perceptions and inform strategies to improve how medical services are provided, thus reducing abandonment of treatment.

    La banda y sus choros. Un grupo de niños de la calle hilando historias de edad, género y liderazgo
    Gigengack, Roy - \ 2014
    Salud Mental 37 (2014)4. - ISSN 0185-3325 - p. 329 - 339.

    This article recounts the story of the Bucareli boys, a group of street children in Mexico City who were also known as the banda of metro Juárez. Documenting the "Buca" boys over a period of three years allowed me to formulate three insights about the internal power differentiation in terms of leadership, gender, and age. These insights are valid as well, I think, for the other 15 bandas where I did fieldwork. First, it is important to place the dynamics of leadership and gender relations in an age perspective. Second, as structuring principles of street life, leadership, gender and age have an inherently evanescent character, due to an interplay of constraints that are both internal and external to the banda. My third suggestion concurs with Liebow in that homelessness creates a world of paradoxes and contradictions. Power differentiation among relatively powerless people is a contradiction in terms; and the dynamics of leadership, gender and age disclose paradoxical social ties within the banda. These can be particularly harrowing in the relations between street kids and the young adults posing as surrogate fathers and mothers. This ethnographic analysis of "crazy-making homelessness" is relevant for mental health. The kids' story-telling about leadership and gender relations veiled their fragility, since in these tales they attributed themselves a power which they did not have in reality. More than mere symptoms of psychopathology or a manipulative personality disorder, these stories testify to the creativity and resilience of these young people. The illusory power of the choros, the bullshit tales about street children, enables them to live in apparent harmony under the conditions in which they live.

    “My body breaks. I take solution.” Inhalant use in Delhi as pleasure seeking at a cost
    Gigengack, R.A. - \ 2014
    International Journal of Drug policy 25 (2014)4. - ISSN 0955-3959 - p. 810 - 818.
    volatile substance misuse - street children - india - intoxication - addiction - science - rights - city
    Background: Inhalant use has existed in India since the 1970s and has increased significantly over the last decades, especially among street-oriented young people. The latter constitute a heterogeneous category: children from street families, children 'of' the street, rag pickers, and part-time street children. There are also inhalant-using schoolchildren and young people in slums. Methods: Fieldwork was conducted for 1 year. Team ethnography, multi-sited and comparative research, flexibility of methods and writing field notes were explicit parts of the research design. Most research was undertaken with six groups in four areas of Delhi, exemplifying six generic categories of inhalant-using street-oriented young people. Results: Inhalants in India are branded: Eraz-Ex diluter and whitener, manufactured by Kores, are used throughout Delhi; Omni glue in one specific area. There is a general lack of awareness and societal indifference towards inhalant use, with the exception of the inhalant users themselves, who possess practical knowledge. They conceive of inhalants as nasha, encapsulating the materiality of the substances and the experiential aspects of intoxication and addiction. Fragments of group interviews narrate the sensory appeal of inhalants, and an ethnographic vignette the dynamics of a sniffing session. These inhalant-using street children seek intoxication in a pursuit of pleasure, despite the harm that befalls them as a result. Some find nasha beautiful, notwithstanding the stigmatization, violence and bodily deterioration; others experience it as an overpowering force. Conclusion: A source of attraction and pleasure, inhalants ravage street children's lives. In this mysterious space of lived experience, their self-organization evolves. Distinguishing between hedonic and side effects, addiction helps to understand inhalant use as at once neurobiological, cultural, and involving agency. The implications are that India needs to develop a policy of treatment and employment to deal with the addiction. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Theorising Age and Generation in Development: A Relational Approach
    Huijsmans, R. ; George, S. ; Gigengack, R.A. ; Evers, S.J.T.M. - \ 2014
    European Journal of Development Research 26 (2014)2. - ISSN 0957-8811 - p. 163 - 174.
    youth transitions - child labor - migrants - politics
    This introduction outlines the analytical approach informing the articles presented in this special issue. The project of ‘generationing’ development involves re-thinking development as distinctly generational in its dynamics. For this, we adopt a relational approach to the study of young people in development, which overcomes the limitations inherent to common categorising approaches. Concepts of age and generation are employed to conceptualise young people as social actors and life phases such as childhood and youth in relational terms. Acknowledging the centrality of young people in social reproduction puts them at the heart of development studies and leads the articles comprising this special issue to explore how young people’s agency shapes and is shaped by the changing terms of social reproduction brought about by development.
    European Journal of Development Research (Journal)
    Gigengack, Roy - \ 2014
    European Journal of Development Research (2014).
    Beyond discourse and competence: Science and subjugated knowledge in street children studies
    Gigengack, R.A. - \ 2014
    European Journal of Development Research 26 (2014)2. - ISSN 0957-8811 - p. 264 - 282.
    This article argues that street children studies (SCS) has reduced its central concept to a discursive construct, and the young street people themselves to capable ‘agents’. One consequence is that street children are not recognized as distinct intergenerational groupings in society. The traditional history of SCS as saga of science elides its positionality as activist critique. This dominant paradigm emerges as overarching belief structure and storytelling tradition, in which the presentation of correct and useful science is crucial. Taking the activist critique as a variant of post-development theory, this article traces different forms of discursive determinism, deconstructionism and populism. Using an iconic text as test case, the article reviews in detail the deconstructionist and populist arguments regarding the complexities, politics and images of street children. Opportunities to think sociologically are identified throughout. Discursive determinism relates to the narrow focus on childhood; intergenerational approaches help to go beyond discourse and competence.
    The badass and the asshole: violence and the positioned subjectivities of street youth in Mexico City
    Gigengack, R.A. - \ 2014
    In: Claiming the city: civil society mobilisation by the urban poor / Moksnes, H., Melin, M., Uppsala : Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development - ISBN 9789198039153 - p. 172 - 184.
    The Chemo and the Mona: Inhalants, devotion and street youth in Mexico City
    Gigengack, R.A. - \ 2014
    International Journal of Drug policy 25 (2014)1. - ISSN 0955-3959 - p. 61 - 70.
    citizens - children - misuse
    This paper understands inhalant use – the deliberate inhalation of volatile solvents or glues with intentions of intoxication – as a socially and culturally constituted practice. It describes the inhalant use of young street people in Mexico City from their perspective (“the vicioso or inhalant fiend's point of view”). Background Even if inhalant use is globally associated with economic inequality and deprivation, there is a marked lack of ethnography. Incomprehension and indignation have blocked our understanding of inhalant use as a form of marginalised drug use. The current explanation models reduce inhalant consumption to universal factors and individual motives; separating the practice from its context, these models tend to overlook gustatory meanings and experiences. Methods The paper is informed by long-term, on-going fieldwork with young street people in Mexico City. Fieldwork was done from 1990 through 2010, in regular periods of fieldwork and shorter visits, often with Mexican colleagues. We created extensive sets of fieldnotes, which were read and re-read. Results “Normalcy” is a striking feature of inhalant use in Mexico City. Street-wise inhabitants of popular neighbourhoods have knowledge about inhalants and inhalant users, and act accordingly. Subsequently, Mexico City's elaborate street culture of sniffing is discussed, that is, the range of inhalants used, how users classify the substances, and their techniques for sniffing. The paper also distinguishes three patterns of inhalant use, which more or less correlate with age. These patterns indicate embodiments of street culture: the formation within users of gusto, that is, an acquired appetite for inhalants, and of vicio, the inhalant fiends’ devotion to inhalants. Conclusion What emerges from the ethnographic findings is an elaborate street culture of sniffing, a complex configuration of shared perspectives and embodied practices, which are shaped by and shaping social exclusion. These findings are relevant to appreciate and address the inhalant fiends’ acquired appetite and habit.
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