A Qualitative Study on Lived Experiences of Children Who Live in a Poor Neighborhood -"Hard Life in Our Village"-

빈곤지역아동의 거주체험에 대한 질적 연구 - 우리 동네살이 -

  • Received : 2011.04.01
  • Accepted : 2011.06.07
  • Published : 2011.08.31


This qualitative study aimed to explore and understand the impacts of the poor neighborhood on children from their own perspectives. To this end, the meaning and the structure of children's lived experiences were explored. The participants were recruited from elementary school high grade students living in poor neighborhood. Focused group interviews were conducted in each of the 24 World Visions social work agencies. The collected data were analysed qualitatively. According to the results, the following main themes could be extracted from the children's lived experiences: "Conflict between connection and differentiation", "Resigning to the fate of being neglected in danger" "Learning to live in the dark cave", "Anticipating a bowl of trust from the neighborhood". The children living in poor neighborhood were threatened by the physical and emotional danger highly probable in weak social infrastructure. Also, they have internalized negative self-identity by chaotic environment and, even the negative role models from alcoholic and sometimes violent adults. However, they were experiencing positive caring from and solidarity with surrounding neighborhood, and were participating in volunteered activities for asserting their citizen rights. These may be the keys to empowerment and, ultimately, to change for themselves and the community. The implications of the study results for the policy making and the actual practice were discussed focusing on the children's rights and well-being.