Contemporary Challenges and Risks
Edited by Lourdes Gaitán, Yannis Pechtelidis, Catarina Tomás and Natália Fernandes
Chapter 5: Changes to childrens forms of living in contemporary Portugal
This chapter outlines key features of childhood in Portugal. It looks at the living conditions of children, their families, schooling and care work, and the growing importance of ICTs. Additionally, it draws on recent qualitative research projects to complement this macro approach. Demographic trends, such as declines in fertility rates and increasing life expectancy, have led to a reduction in the proportion of children. While progress was made in recent decades, many Portuguese children experience poverty and material deprivation. Social inequalities continue to shape the lives of children, affecting schooling careers, life chances, and endangering their full citizenship. Children were highly impacted by the recent crisis because of higher unemployment and severe cuts in social support. On the other hand, childhoods are increasingly lived in front of screens. Families and children have appropriated digital ICTs, using different platforms and devices on a daily basis to communicate with friends and family.
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