ABOUT THIS BOOK
"Brilliant and intimate. The book is an eloquent rendition of the expansive spatial abstractions and mimetic revolutionary re-imagination it proposes." -Social and Cultural Geography
Growing Up Global examines the processes of development and global change through the perspective of children’s lives in two seemingly disparate places: New York City and a village in northern Sudan. At the book’s core is a longitudinal ethnographic study of children growing up in a Sudanese village that was included in a large state-sponsored agricultural program in the year they were born. It follows a small number of children intermittently from ten years of age to early adulthood, concentrating particularly on their work and play, which together trained the children for an agrarian life centered around the family, a life that was quickly becoming obsolete.
Shifting her focus to largely working-class families in New York City in the 1980s and 1990s, Katz is able to expose unsuspected connections with the Sudanese experience in the effects on children of a constantly changing, capitalist environment—the decline of manufacturing jobs and the increase in knowledge-based jobs—in which young people with few skills and stunted educations face bleak employment prospects. In teasing out how “development” transforms the grounds on which these young people come of age, Cindi Katz provides a textured analysis of the importance of knowledge in the ability of people, families, and communities to reproduce themselves and their material social practices over time.