‘Becoming somebody’ : Youth transitions through education and migration – evidence from Young Lives, Peru
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This paper explores the relationship between migration and educational aspirations among young people growing up in contexts of poverty in Peru. It draws on a mixed survey and qualitative data set collected by Young Lives (YL), an international fifteen-year study of childhood poverty. The focus is on data generated with the older of two cohorts of YL children being studied in Peru. They were around eight years old when the study began in 2002 and were twelve years old at the last point of data collection in 2007. This paper provides evidence to suggest that young people and their caregivers connect migration with the process of ‘becoming somebody in life’ (ser algo o alguien en la vida). This entails making successful transitions to adulthood and out of poverty. Their educational aspirations and expectations are at the core of their view of their future; these are generated against a country backdrop of economic and social inequalities, a recent history of political violence and resulting mass displacement, and established and diverse patterns of internal and international migration.