Child Soldiers: Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front

By Corbin, Joanne | African Studies Review, April 2011 | Go to article overview

Child Soldiers: Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front


Corbin, Joanne, African Studies Review


ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY Myriam Denov. Child Soldiers: Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. xi + 246 pp. Map. Notes. References. Index. $85.00. Cloth. $28.99. Paper.

Child Soldiers is a comprehensive and thought-provoking examination of the subjective experiences of former child soldiers during Sierra Leone's brutal armed conflict. One of the book's strengths is Denov's careful articulation of the historical and contemporary factors underlying the conflict. A second strength is her use of Giddens's structuration theory (The Constitution of Society, Polity Press, 1984) to explore the structures that contributed to children's roles and the ways in which children exercised agency in the midst of these horrific circumstances. This book is based on qualitative research conducted by Denov and her research team, including seventy-six former child soldiers. Denov opens with the necessary definitions, explanations for children's involvement in wars, and media-derived descriptions of child soldiers; however, she does not present these uncritically. She appears most critical of the lack of attention to girls' involvement in armed conflicts. She rectifies this with details about the ways in which girls were used at every phase of this conflict and the invisibility and stigma they faced afterwards.

The experiences of child soldiers are presented in two chapters: one that examines the making of child soldiers from the time they were forcibly conscripted by the RUF, and another that looks at the unmaking of child soldiers at the war's end. Narrative descriptions are used to explore how the RUF turned children into combatants from the time of their abductions through creating conditions of profound disorientation, broken family bonds, constant insecurity, and unpredictable violence. In the midst this culture of violence, however, Denov identifies examples of child soldiers almost inconceivably exercising agency. Such examples include child soldiers hiding the drugs they were forced to take, excelling at handling weapons to earn the favor of commanders, girls marrying commanders as a way to end the sexual violence from other boys and men, and some even refusing orders or escaping. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Child Soldiers: Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.