Experiencing the Journey to School: Rural and Urban Narratives

  • Gina Porter
  • Kate Hampshire
  • Albert Abane
  • Alister Munthali
  • Elsbeth Robson
  • Mac Mashiri
Part of the Anthropology, Change, and Development book series (ACD)


This chapter is concerned with the intersections between children’s mobility and educational uptake and achievement. It introduces some important pupil experiences that have received little consideration in conventional academic debates about educational access issues and failures across Africa (which tend to focus on what happens in the classroom). Field data are used to illustrate the lived experience of children’s journeys to and from school—their experiential and sensory qualities—in diverse contexts. The mobile ethnography research brings a textured understanding of these journeys and the wider setting within which they take place: the way mobilities are performed, experienced through the body and embedded in social life, but also the significance of the ‘moorings’ (home and school) between which movements take place. The extent and ways in which cultural attitudes influence girls’ travel patterns and practices and the implications for gendered life trajectories is a recurrent theme, while age and prevailing patterns of transport provision interpose further complexity.


Rural Settlement Taxi Driver Remote Rural Area Senior Secondary School Junior Secondary School 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gina Porter
    • 1
  • Kate Hampshire
    • 1
  • Albert Abane
    • 2
  • Alister Munthali
    • 3
  • Elsbeth Robson
    • 4
  • Mac Mashiri
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyDurham UniversityDurhamUK
  2. 2.Department of Geography and Regional PlanningUniversity of Cape CoastCape CoastGhana
  3. 3.Centre for Social ResearchUniversity of MalawiZombaMalawi
  4. 4.Department of Geography, Environment and Earth ScienceUniversity of HullHullUK
  5. 5.Gwarajena Transport Research & DevelopmentPretoriaSouth Africa

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