In the policy sphere, categories are used to define groups who are assumed to share particular qualities; this makes it reasonable to subject them to the same outcomes of policy. While important for policy and programme thinking, categories may eschew diversity and gloss over experiences that deviate from what is well known. Drawing from my research on child poverty and vulnerability in Kenya, I show how children’s complex experiences are often downplayed by focusing on dominant categorization of poor and vulnerable children. I demonstrate how I used innovative methods that enabled me to ‘map’ children’s lived experience instead of using linear approaches. In stepping in and out of categorical thinking, I show the complexities, fluidities and entanglements in children’s experience, that defy the all too easy categorization in child-poverty research. I conclude by providing signposts for intervening in the complex, fluid, entangled experience of children.
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Ngutuku, E. (2019). Beyond Categories: Rhizomatic Experiences of Child Poverty and Vulnerability in Kenya. In Putting Children First: New Frontiers in the Fight Against Child Poverty in Africa. Retrieved from