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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Why Do Children Work? A Case Study on Early Work Experience Opportunities for Children in Washington State
by Burgoyne, Tim, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2018, 140; 13804861
Abstract (Summary)

With a trend to eradicate all forms of twelve-year-old labor outside of the home, both globally and locally, the perspectives of ten former employees of a Washington State agriculture business were studied. A study site was selected as an intrinsic case study due to the fact it adheres to state and national child labor policies, yet conflicts with global agreements on what constitutes acceptable child labor practices of twelve-year-old children. Semi-structured. face-to-face interviews, with ten young adults, between the ages of 18 - 25, who worked for the study site when they were 12-years-old, were conducted. Additionally, ten local community members were questioned about their views on the study site. Qualitative data analysis was then performed on transcribed interviews and notes to extract themes related to reasons, insights, and thoughts on their experiences or opinions regarding early work experience. The theoretical framework, consisting of the capabilities approach, was used to interpret the data and develop a discussion of the study's results and implications.

This case study demonstrated that the influence of obtaining a good work ethic and social engagement were primary motivations to start working at 12 years-of-age by the child's family and/or the child. Analysis of the semi-structured interviews revealed that work was not considered easy. Additionally, this study demonstrated that additional choices in the job market were desirable. Findings indicated that stakeholders (the participants, the participants' families and the participants' friends) and community members supported the study site's continued operation model. Results from this investigation may be used to support further research into the protectionist approach to light work practices.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Raffanti, Michael
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 80/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, Commerce-Business, Political science
Keywords: Agriculture, Capabilities Approach, Children, Early Work Experience, Intrinsic Case Study, Labor
Publication Number: 13804861
ISBN: 978-0-438-73170-7
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