Can street children rely on “friendship” to survive on the streets? A comparative study between street children in Kuala Lumpur City and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah / Siti Nur Fathanah Abd Hamid, Yarina Ahmad and Nor Suziwana Tahir

Abd Hamid, Siti Nur Fathanah and Ahmad, Yarina and Tahir, Nor Suziwana (2017) Can street children rely on “friendship” to survive on the streets? A comparative study between street children in Kuala Lumpur City and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah / Siti Nur Fathanah Abd Hamid, Yarina Ahmad and Nor Suziwana Tahir. Journal of Administrative Science, 14 (3). pp. 1-20. ISSN 1675-1302

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Abstract

This paper explores whether street children in the city of Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah can rely on “friendship” as a strategy to survive on the streets. Street children are categorized as vulnerable and marginalized children since they receive lack of supervision, direction and protection from parents/guardians/adults. These situations immensely influence these children to succumb to a life on the streets. To continue surviving, street children develop distinctive relationships with each other. It is vital to stay in a group of friends to maximize their protection and minimize risks, such as discrimination, gangsterism, abuse and violence. This study adopts the qualitative method by using in-depth interviews and observations of street children’s nature, behaviours and characteristics. The data collection was conducted in 2016, in two areas (Kuala Lumpur city and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah) which involved 24 respondents—12 respondents from the Kuala Lumpur city and 12 respondents from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Out of 24 respondents, 18 were male street children and 6 were female street children. The findings of this study prove that “friendship” is one of the key survival strategies of street children in both areas. Further, the findings of this study reveal that there are three degrees/levels of friendships engaged by street children—too close, close and distant. Friendship as a survival strategy of street children is a positive strategy in its nature. However, when street children engage in friendship while they are on the streets, it has led to many consequences toward street children—positive and negative consequences. Among the positive consequences are friends as sources of help and a mean to maximize protection and security. Notably, negative consequences of engaging in friendship among street children in the city of Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah outnumber the positive consequences. When street children are too close and close to friends, they may be trapped in complicated situations such as being involved in loitering, stealing, smoking, consuming drugs, drinking alcohol, glue sniffing and punk groups. This study concludes that street children acknowledge and are cognizant that friendship is one of the vital survival strategies as well as it can be used as a mean to survive on the streets to maximize their protection and security. Notably, friendship alone cannot guarantee street children will survive in their lives. This can be seen through many negative consequences that may harm their childhood and development.

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Item Type: Article
Creators:
Creators
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Abd Hamid, Siti Nur Fathanah
UNSPECIFIED
Ahmad, Yarina
UNSPECIFIED
Tahir, Nor Suziwana
UNSPECIFIED
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > Protection, assistance and relief
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > Protection, assistance and relief > Special classes > Children > Destitute, neglected, and abandoned children. Street children
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General) > Research
Divisions: Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam > Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Administrative Science
UiTM Journal Collections: UiTM Journal > Journal of Administrative Science (JAS)
ISSN: 1675-1302
Volume: 14
Number: 3
Page Range: pp. 1-20
Official URL: https://jas.uitm.edu.my/index.php/2-uncategorised/...
Item ID: 49174
Uncontrolled Keywords: Street children; friendship; survival strategy; consequences
URI: https://ir.uitm.edu.my/id/eprint/49174

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49174

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