“No a la droga, Si a la vida!” Drug Use in relation to Poverty and Coping Strategies among Street Children in Buenos Aires, Argentina
MetadataShow full item record
Based on anthropological fieldwork in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this thesis illustrates how drug use relates to poverty and coping strategies. A multi-approach method is used to clarify how (former) street children cope with their daily lives and future perspectives, while dealing with an addiction. This thesis shows that context factors like societal structures, the family situation and their addiction influence and restrict the opportunities of these children which results in unfulfilled basic human needs. Drug use is a way of coping with the difficulties of life but also makes it more complicated to get out of the stressful situation that street life is. This does not mean street children are fully submitted to outside influences. Although street children are often perceived as passive victims, this thesis shows that agency is a key concept throughout their whole lives. Agency is essential to induce change. Personal decision-making, developing self-worth and a positive mindset, can turn their lives into a success story. Living in poverty and being addicted does certainly not exclude agency, although the allied context factors and influences make it undoubtedly more difficult to exert.