The Children of the FARC
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Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews from across Colombia—including former child guerillas, former hostages of the guerilla organization, mothers of child soldiers, and humanitarian aid workers— this volume explores the experiences of children involved with the Colombian guerilla group the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc). Going beyond the predominant humanitarian perspectives on child soldiers, Johanna Higgs delves into the specific social and cultural aspects of the Colombian conflict to give a contextualized, culturally relevant understanding of the processes of both militarization and demobilization of children, deploying the theoretical lens of “lifeworlds.” In so doing, Higgs not only provides insight into children’s involvement in conflict in Colombia, but presents a clear case for a move away from homogenized understandings of “child soldiers,” thus far dominated by viewpoints from industrialized Western nations. Tying together perspectives from anthropology, sociology, psychology, politics, and international development, Higgs provides a much-needed examination of how children are militarized, soldiering in the Farc context, and demilitarization, but also a blueprint for how research can be tied to specific cultural contexts.