L’insaisissable catégorie sociale d’enfants orphelins d’Afrique : de quoi parle-t-on ?

  • Georges Danhoundo FACULTY OF HEALTH, 435 Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies
Keywords: child, orphan, vulnerability, Mossi, category


There is no definition of orphans that would allow to know without confusion who is an orphan child. This article analyses the challenges and difficulties in defining and targeting the social category of orphans. It is based on a number of works, as well as the field research on the social actor’s logics regarding the family support to orphans among the Mossi people in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), for my Ph.D. in sociology at Laval University (Canada). In fact, international charity organisations use orphans as a vulnerable and universal category. This has been done through the propagation of information on HIV. From the social sciences perspective, the category of orphans covers a variety of realities, and making the choice to see it otherwise would hide the diversity of those realities.


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