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  1. Newbie
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    • Join Date: May 2011
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    my book review really needs some help

    Hi, it's weird to ask, but maybe someone wants to help me with my book review. I failed it cause my English is terrible, as professor said, so I was wondering if someone could help me a bit.
    I have all the footnotes, which are needed and professor said that also my ideas are nice, I just dont know how to 'put them on a paper' and as this is a first year when Im studying in English it is not that easy.

    so here it goes..

    The author Dr. Olga Nieuwenhuys is senior researcher at Institute for Development research at the University of Amsterdam. “She is a social anthropologist who has done extensive fieldwork in India, specializing in topics related to the survival strategies of rural households.” She has taught courses like “Childhood(s) in Global South: Postcolonial and Child Labour and development” in several universities all over the world . As well she has written lots of articles about children rights such as “From child labour to working children’s movements” in The Palgrave handbook of childhood studies” and “The ethics of children’s rights” in Childhood.

    The book “Children’s Lifeworlds: gender, welfare and labour in the developing world” is an accurate reflection of the everyday life and importance of child labour in Kerala, India. Subject for the book is working children; they mostly are children of rural poor. These children rarely see other way of spending their childhood than working in fishing industries or coir yards. Therefore, the central question of the monograph that can be seen thorough the book is how class and kinship and gender influence the lives of children on Kerala. The author tries to answer this question without taking the sides, and tries to support all of the arguments with decent facts. She does not judge or support children, their parents or the places they work. And she does not require doing that for the readers.

    The author’s main concern is the value of children labour. She shows that they, unpaid working children, are genuinely important for small businesses or even larger companies in the region, but as well she underlines the importance for the children and their families to be involved in these jobs, for such an easy example as boys who work in fishing industries gets free fishes to take home, so they can help to provide their family with food. It also has been shown that although children labour is important for the local economy, they are really unappreciated in comparison with paid children workers, but expectations are the same for everyone. The author gives a brief explanation why and how their status in society also depends on who their parents are and on their gender.

    It is important to say that author illustrates child labour from a very likable perspective. The book is more concentrated on a child labour from the view of people living in the region, and not from the view of dissimilar regions with different life expectations and manner, for example, from the view of people who live in developed countries. The author not directly has indicated that there is a gap between understandings about child labour. Book illustrates why child labour is valuated inadequate in a very clear way. For example, it shows that in spite of high rate of child labour in this region, there is one of the highest elementary school enrolments as well. I believe that is the main reason why I would recommend it to read it. It may help for a reader to clarify a view on children labour as well as urge to see it from a different perspective, from a perspective locals in Kerala sees it, and it does not seem so negative after all.

    It is notable, that the author presents child labour from very likable perspectives, but as she covers children working only fishing industries, coir yards or households, it may give too sympathetic view for a reader. In India there are a lot of children recycling E-waste. That gives them an opportunity to earn some money, but it is a really harmful atmosphere for their health, and they risk lives doing this job . It only one example of many harmful jobs the children of the rural poor is doing. So in my opinion the book covers the child labour too friendly. The book makes to think that everything is fine. As well in the title O. Nieuwenhuys refers on developing countries, but book contains the situation only in small part of India. Just by analysis on Kerala region the author can give a generalized idea about child labour in developing countries, but I would not to agree that it is all the same in all regions in India, and I am even not talking about the most of Global South. But in spite of that, the author does provide enough deep and generalized view on the situation in Kerala, what could be a case in other developing countries as well.

    As the author spent July – August 1992 in this region, for her study she used the most reliable sources – local inhabitants. She has interviewed about 80 people who were somehow involved in child labour. Throughout the book lot of interviews with working children can be found. That makes a book easier to read and more interesting. As well I find that these interviews help to illustrate the reality better than all other text. There are several tables as well which indicates schooling, income and other rates. The monograph is well organized starting with nature of activities undertaken by children till economic and social implications of children’s subordination. Book is well written and easy to read, but the author uses a lot of local vocabulary like madrasa(modern Koranic school), pennukannaan(modern part of the betrothal ceremony) , what on the one hand makes harder to understand, but on the other hand these local words makes you feel like you are one of them.

    I would recommend reading this for everyone who is interested in children labour in developing countries. It demonstrates a very sympathetic analyzes of working children and they everyday life, obstacles they are facing. As well it pays attention on their influence on the local economy and importance for local society. It is many sided, reliable source about the topic.

  2. Junior Member
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      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2011
    • Posts: 59

    Re: my book review really needs some help

    North American user of English

    I am confused by your usage of quotation marks.

    “She is a social anthropologist who has done extensive fieldwork in India, specializing in topics related to the survival strategies of rural households.”

    Is this directly quoted from someone? It's so generic, anyone could have written and should not be quoted. When you're writing a paper, generally the only thing you want to quote is something which illustrates a point or can be used as support for your thoughts. Things that are considered to be general knowledge shouldn't be quoted.

    Use italics for titles of books instead of quotes. Course names also don't need to be put in quotes. Actually here's a very good website for English how to use quotations and other facets of English grammar. (It's North American English.)

    One thing you should work on is that when you use a quotation, you should cite or mention whom you received the quote from.

    One thing to take note of is that child labor is always referred to as child labor and not children labor.

    Much of what you've written is quite good considering English is not your primary language. Many of the mistakes you make seem to come from lack of experience more than anything else.

    Good luck with your assignment!

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