Then again some societies identified as less violent in such surveys may turn

Then again some societies identified as less violent

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especially in demographic and health surveys, rely on this willingness to talk. Then again, some societies identified as less violent in such surveys may turn out to be more so, either because people have become accustomed to a certain level that is no longer acceptable to the wider society, or because the internal violence mirrors political and ethnic violence. Historical and anthropological perspective Do these changes point to a form of withdrawal followed by recomposition? Are we witnessing a situation comparable to past crises, suggesting a degree of adaptation and resilience? What are the similarities and differences? To what extent are these changes redefining lifetime periods in age- based societies? Do these changes break with or stem directly from the practices and ethos of a given society, going beyond cultural matrices and family models that may or may not be related to family systems? Any anthropological reading of current changes will need to explore how far households and domestic units, as well as local communities, have been strengthened in their ability to meet the challenges of modernizing traditions - or “traditionalizing” modern practices. The anthropological diversity of East African societies provides us with a range of change scenarios to be compared. Certain practices that are often associated with conflict or post-conflict situations may actually be present much earlier, and historical demography would offer insights into this possible anteriority. 3. Public policies and social action: public care for OVCs and violent youths Sectoral policies, either already implemented or in the pipeline, are starting to provide solutions to the problems of OVCs and of young people in general. They are part of more general public policies on health, education and justice. Improved human rights, the rise of civil society, increased media coverage and the building of public opinion constitute a favourable environment for individual, family and community forms of commitment. These are double-edged changes, 5
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however, in that they protect but also discriminate, sometimes resulting in the criminalization of certain categories of young people. They also tend to be more about discourses and posturing than about practices, with variations between countries, regions, urban and rural areas, and peripheral and central spaces. Brought about by governments and administrations, elites, civil society and the international community, these changes may on occasion trigger resistance or at the very least dissidence within communities, and require us to adopt a comparative approach, as challenges and resources differ between East African Community member states. Public policies targeting OVCs A comparative approach should be applied to the models and practices of public policies in the countries under review, namely Burundi, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, paying particular attention to definitions and norms, institutional care, the history of public policies, and the construction of frames of reference. Education policies, aimed either at the general population or at specific,
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  • Summer '16
  • Ramon Wawire

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