Book

The time of Youth: Work, Social Change and Politics in Africa

Authors:

Abstract

Most young Africans are living in “waithood,” a period of suspension between childhood and adulthood. Failed neo-liberal economic policies, bad governance and political instability have caused stable jobs to disappear—without jobs that pay living wages, these young people cannot support families, thus becoming fully participating members of society. As this limbo becomes pervasive and prolonged, waithood in Africa becomes seemingly permanent, gradually replacing conventional adulthood. And with the deepening of the world economic crisis, youth in Europe, North America and other parts of the world face the same crisis of joblessness and restricted futures. In The Time of Youth , Alcinda Honwana examines the lives of young people in Africa, drawing on in-depth interviews in four countries: Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia. While the case studies are local to Africa, the book argues that the ”waithood generation” is global, and possesses a tremendous transformative potential, as young people believe the struggle to overcome their predicament requires radical social and political change. From riots and protests in the streets of Maputo, Dakar, Madrid, London, New York and Santiago, to revolutions that overthrow dictatorships in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, the ”waithood generation” is taking upon itself to redress the wrongs of contemporary society and remake the world.
... It is not a homogenous activity and can take many different forms (Hage, 2009b). Waiting is a common feature in African cities where people wait for jobs and effective adulthood (Honwana, 2012;Masquelier, 2013), homes (Nielsen, 2014), miracles (Turner, 2015), even unrest (Vigh, 2015). Much of the anthropological literature on the subject focuses on waiting as a transitory state, either through notions of "waithood" (Honwana, 2012) and "stuckedness" (Hage, 2009c) or with regard to displaced people (Janeja and Bandak, 2018;Turner, 2015). ...
... Waiting is a common feature in African cities where people wait for jobs and effective adulthood (Honwana, 2012;Masquelier, 2013), homes (Nielsen, 2014), miracles (Turner, 2015), even unrest (Vigh, 2015). Much of the anthropological literature on the subject focuses on waiting as a transitory state, either through notions of "waithood" (Honwana, 2012) and "stuckedness" (Hage, 2009c) or with regard to displaced people (Janeja and Bandak, 2018;Turner, 2015). This article, in contrast, focuses on a type of waiting that is structural rather than liminal and is oriented towards the immediate future rather than a more distant one. ...
... But Bernice will not consider it; she is not simply biding her time at the harbour until something better comes along. She is not in a liminal condition, caught in a state of neither-here-nor-there, as are so many people who wait (Hage, 2009b;Honwana, 2012;Janeja and Bandak, 2018;Stasik et al., 2020). Bernice is fully engaged in her activity at the fishing harbour. ...
Article
Addressing the expectation of development researchers and practitioners that strong business associations are of particular importance for economic development, this paper analyses the real workings of these associations, using the example of the Republic of Benin. In this country, large organizations function in a deeply-politicized milieu, with the government trying to control them through a policy of divide and rule as well as political cooptation in order to generate party political support and minimize opposition. The large business associations are thus actors in regime politics rather than representatives of an autonomous capitalist class, in line with a historical tradition of successive governments trying to capture and control the private sector. At the same time, the smaller associations are often closely interwoven with the social arena of international development policy. However, the promotion of smaller associations by development agencies cannot prevent them from being politicized. The paradoxical effect of this is that private sector development policy weakens rather than strengthens the private sector, and that a commitment to slogans like private sector development offers the opportunity for local actors to look for new forms of rent-seeking. The Beninese variant of rentier capitalism remains highly subservient to the political regime.
... La condición de "juventud", al igual que en el resto del continente (Abbink 2004), es relativamente nueva en la sociedad rural de Mozambique (Honwana 2012). En muchos casos no hay claridad sobre su rol social, derechos y obligaciones más allá de su situación de no-niña(o) en "espera" y en el proceso de transición a la adultez (Honwana 2012). ...
... La condición de "juventud", al igual que en el resto del continente (Abbink 2004), es relativamente nueva en la sociedad rural de Mozambique (Honwana 2012). En muchos casos no hay claridad sobre su rol social, derechos y obligaciones más allá de su situación de no-niña(o) en "espera" y en el proceso de transición a la adultez (Honwana 2012). De nuestras entrevistas en campo surge que los hombres y mujeres jóvenes gozan de un devenir relativamente flexible durante dicha transición, pero al casarse y formar sus propias familias se terminan ajustando a los roles de género tradicionales. ...
... En nuestro trabajo de campo advertimos que son, además, agentes mucho más dinámicas(os) y enérgicas(os), mostrando mejores resultados en sus machambas y mayor efectividad en las tareas de promoción. Mas aún, este nuevo protagonismo incrementó sus posibilidades de involucrarse políticamente, territorio bastante restringido bajo una estructura de poder en una matriz comunitaria fuertemente patriarcal y tradicionalmente adultocéntrica (Honwana 2012). ...
Thesis
Esta investigación aborda los procesos campesina(o) a campesina(o) (PCaC) como un complejo dispositivo de ensamblaje de agroecologías, territorios y sujetos dentro de La Vía Campesina (LVC). Para esta propuesta se han seleccionado dos experiencias en diferentes territorios, con diversas formas de organización e impacto en la expansión de la agroecología: el Movimiento Agroecológico Campesino a Campesino (MACAC) de Cuba, como proceso consolidado, y un conjunto de procesos CaC promovidos por la União Nacional de Camponeses (UNAC) de Mozambique, como proceso en desarrollo. Utilizamos un abordaje etnográfico desde una perspectiva multisituada y multiescalar, considerando desde los contextos locales y cotidianos de producción y de vida en el territorio, hasta las esferas de articulación internacional en el marco de los procesos globales de LVC. Desde esta perspectiva general analizamos la llegada de CaC a Mozambique, algunas particularidades de los PCaC en este territorio y cómo se ha desplegado en un contexto socio-histórico, ambiental y culturalmente diferente. Examinamos el rol de la UNAC y el potencial de CaC en la construcción de una agroecología campesina y la incipiente emergencia de un campesinado agroecológico en el norte de Mozambique. Con base en lo observado sobre la dinámica general de LVC y el trabajo de campo en Mozambique, sostenemos que los PCaC conectan y articulan territorios (materiales e inmateriales), procesos (locales y globales) y sujetos (en una heterogeneidad ensamblada), promoviendo la emergencia de un campesinado agroecológico como sujeto político alternativo y transformador, y ensamblando y catalizando el proceso de territorialización de la agroecología campesina como alternativa de producción y de vida para las(os) habitantes rurales. En definitiva, los PCaC constituyen un dispositivo fundamental en el proceso de transformación agroecológica, la defensa de la tierra y el territorio y construcción del proyecto político del movimiento campesino internacional articulado en LVC.
... The term 'youth' often refers to a period between the dependence of childhood and adult independence. Its definition is very fluid and is seen in different ways in different cultures (Adesiji et al., 2014;Honwana, 2012). The absence of a universal definition of the term makes it difficult to measure and compare data on youth across countries and regions (Gyimah-Brempong & Kimenyi, 2013). ...
... The absence of a universal definition of the term makes it difficult to measure and compare data on youth across countries and regions (Gyimah-Brempong & Kimenyi, 2013). Indeed, scholars including Gyimah-Brempong and Kimenyi (2013), Porter et al. (2007) and Waldie (2004), have noted that information on rural youth remains fragmented in many countries and in the development literature due to inadequate data collected on rural youth, although that is changing (Chant & Jones, 2005;Honwana, 2012). Waldie (2004) argues that development policy documents hardly acknowledge youth, and in rare cases where youth are recognized or mentioned, this barely informs policy. ...
... Age categories are embedded in personal relationships, institutional structures, social practices, politics, laws, and public policies". The link between social position and age is not only intricate but highly disputed, reflecting the role of power in age division (Honwana, 2012). In Africa, the definition of youth varies across countries. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
This thesis investigates the uneven and differential implications of a newly constructed road for residents of Kaasa, a rural community in northern Ghana, with an emphasis on youth, a group whose experiences and practices in relation to road-based mobility have been largely overlooked. It also examines the labour-intensive model used to construct the road, and the relationship between this construction model and the completed road’s uneven implications for community members. Primary data was collected using in-depth qualitative phone interviews with a sample of 15 youth from Kaasa, the road-building project supervisor, and the local assemblyman. Analysis of this material, which employs a motility capital – or motility – framework, yielded three main typologies: (a) six implications of involving locals in the road-building process, (b) six themes that describe youths’ lived experiences of the new road, and (c) five additional themes that summarise youths’ perspectives on the implications of the new road for the community as a whole. Findings reveal that these three sets of implications overlap significantly, and that locals’ ability to experience the benefits of the newly constructed road depend mainly on their motility, including the assets and opportunities they possess as well as the ambition to act on available opportunities. By contributing to knowledge on the multifaceted material and social implications of rural road construction for differently positioned individuals in a small rural community, this thesis also adds to knowledge on rural development research and practice, and the new mobilities scholarship in the social sciences.
... However, while policy acknowledges that a one-size fits all approach won't work for the youth employment challenge in SSA (ILO 2012;Fox and Kaul 2017), rarely does policy acknowledge the framing of youth as a life stage with diverse trajectories and intersecting changes. This approach is ultimately linked to societal inequalities (e.g. of gender, class, age, culture) (Pickett and Wilson 2009;Honwana 2012). ...
... Dominant framings of youth as the 'nations future' and 'as job creators' are underpinned by slow structural transformation, yet this does not mean that young people are economically inactive -rather, it is the opposite. Young people in SSA have become connoisseurs at reshaping unconducive environments into spaces of opportunity (Honwana 2012). Unemployment is not an option. ...
... This essentially 'keeps young people busy' (White and Kenyon 2001) zigzagging through precarious economies (Jeffery and Dyson 2013) and 'meeting the odds' rather than 'beating the odds' (Crivello and Morrow 2019). Honwana (2012) would argue that this is one of the reasons why many young people in SSA are stuck in waithood. ...
Thesis
Entrepreneurship has become an increasingly dominant policy solution to youth employment in sub-Saharan Africa. Understanding the conceptualisation of entrepreneurship within policy is, therefore, important because it provides insight into the ability of the policy to address youth employment. To date, most policy analyses have focused on interventions that best stimulate entrepreneurial outcomes and not on entrepreneurship itself. This paper examines the national youth policies in Zambia between 1994 and 2015 to understand how entrepreneurship is conceptualised in policy. The study concludes that entrepreneurship as a youth employment strategy has confusing and contradictory intentions. These intentions are misaligned with policy and consequently, impact the ability of entrepreneurship to address youth employment in Zambia.
... It is not a homogenous activity and can take many different forms (Hage, 2009b). Waiting is a common feature in African cities where people wait for jobs and effective adulthood (Honwana, 2012;Masquelier, 2013), homes (Nielsen, 2014), miracles (Turner, 2015), even unrest (Vigh, 2015). Much of the anthropological literature on the subject focuses on waiting as a transitory state, either through notions of "waithood" (Honwana, 2012) and "stuckedness" (Hage, 2009c) or with regard to displaced people (Janeja and Bandak, 2018;Turner, 2015). ...
... Waiting is a common feature in African cities where people wait for jobs and effective adulthood (Honwana, 2012;Masquelier, 2013), homes (Nielsen, 2014), miracles (Turner, 2015), even unrest (Vigh, 2015). Much of the anthropological literature on the subject focuses on waiting as a transitory state, either through notions of "waithood" (Honwana, 2012) and "stuckedness" (Hage, 2009c) or with regard to displaced people (Janeja and Bandak, 2018;Turner, 2015). This article, in contrast, focuses on a type of waiting that is structural rather than liminal and is oriented towards the immediate future rather than a more distant one. ...
... But Bernice will not consider it; she is not simply biding her time at the harbour until something better comes along. She is not in a liminal condition, caught in a state of neither-here-nor-there, as are so many people who wait (Hage, 2009b;Honwana, 2012;Janeja and Bandak, 2018;Stasik et al., 2020). Bernice is fully engaged in her activity at the fishing harbour. ...
... U ovom radu nastojim da objasnim kako kulturne predstave o gradu i način na koji se doživljava prostor koji se koristi utiču na fenomen "produžene mladosti". Ovaj fenomen podrazumeva "produženu" ekonomsku, finansijsku, stambenu i drugu zavisnost mladih ljudi, odnosno njihovu težu tranziciju u odraslost usled različitih uslova -ekonomskih i političkih faktora, dužeg školovanja ili kasnijeg dobijanja profesionalnog statusa u pojedinim profesijama (lekari, pravnici, inžinjeri) (Milić 2001;Corijn and Klijzing 2001;Honwana 2012). U domaćem kontekstu "produženu mladost" karakteriše česta praksa života mladih ljudi sa roditeljima i njihova delimična ili potpuna finansijska zavisnost od roditelja o čemu svedoče i obimne demografska i sociološka istraživanja (Mihailović 2004, Tomanović 2012 2 . ...
... Kako Bendikesn i Eriksen naglašavaju, iako se čekanje može smatrati "blokadom akcije" ili "pasivnom aktivnosti" koja sa sobom donosi ranjivost, nemoć i bespomoćnost, pažnju treba obratiti i na autore (Corcoran 1989, Lakha 2009) koji na čekanje gledaju kao na "vreban je plena" -"'snažnu i svrsishodnu akciju' u kojoj je osoba koja čeka spremna na akciju čim joj se ukaže prilika" (Bendixsen and Eriksen 2018, 93). U kontekstu istraživanja "produžene mlados ti" ovi koncepti mogu biti upotrebljeni za dalju analizu čekanja u vremenu i prostoru, između detinjstva i odraslosti za koju se vezuje i složenica waithood (Honwana 2012, Khosravi 2017, skovana od reči wait (srp. čekati) i -hood (dela reči childh ood/ srp. ...
... odraslost). Alsinda Honvana, opisujući produžavanje mladosti i liminalnost mladih u afričkom kontekstu, opisuje stanje "ni tamo -ni ovde" ističući prilike, poslove i aktivnosti kojima se otvaraju mogućnost za aktivno delovanje društvenih subjekata (agency 6 ) u stanju zaglavljenosti (Honwana 2012). Čekanje u međuprostoru i međuvremenu može se razumeti i kroz čežnju za "norma lnim životom" (Jansen 2015, 18) i preispitivanje "fizičke" naspram "egzistencijalne" mobilno sti (Hage 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Apstrakt: U ovom radu se, iz antropološke perspektive, preispituje uticaj kulturnih predstava na fenomen „produžene mladosti“, pri čemu se posebno analiziraju kulturne predstave o prostoru. Ukazujući na narative o gradu, kraju i sobama mladih ljudi koji žive sa roditeljima, rad se fokusira na značenja koja ispitanici pridaju prostorima i životnim aranžmanima u kojima se sami nalaze. Takođe, rad ukazuje na životne aranžmane „drugih“ i percipirane alternative. Cilj rada je da prikaže kako se ispitanici odnose prema urbanoj topografiji, pre svega prema prostorima koje smatraju „svojima“ u smislu prebivališta, te kako predstave o prostorima utiču na fenomen „produžene mladosti“. Preispitujući narative o izborima mladih ljudi iz Beograda, rad ukazuje na kulturne predstave koje modeluju njihova razmišljanja o osamostaljenju i selidbi iz porodičnog doma. U radu su korišćeni rezultati terenskog istraživanja sprovedenog u Beogradu od avgusta 2019. do novembra 2020. godine među mladima i njihovim roditeljima. Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of cultural representations, especially the cultural representations of space, on the phenomenon of “prolonged youth”. This phenomenon is approached from an anthropological perspective. The paper focuses on meanings that interlocutors attribute to their spaces and living arrangements by sharing narratives about their city, neighbourhoods, and rooms. Moreover, the paper points to the living arrangements of the “others” and perceived alternatives. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse how interlocutors refer to urban topography, primarily to the spaces they consider “theirs“ in terms of residence, as well as how the representations of space contribute to the phenomenon of “prolonged youth“. While examining the narratives about the choices of Belgrade youth, the paper points to the cultural representations that shape their thoughts on independent living and moving out of the family home. The paper relies on the results of field research conducted in Belgrade from August 2019 to November 2020 among young adults and their parents.
... It is not a homogenous activity and can take many different forms (Hage, 2009b). Waiting is a common feature in African cities where people wait for jobs and effective adulthood (Honwana, 2012;Masquelier, 2013), homes (Nielsen, 2014), miracles (Turner, 2015), even unrest (Vigh, 2015). Much of the anthropological literature on the subject focuses on waiting as a transitory state, either through notions of "waithood" (Honwana, 2012) and "stuckedness" (Hage, 2009c) or with regard to displaced people (Janeja and Bandak, 2018;Turner, 2015). ...
... Waiting is a common feature in African cities where people wait for jobs and effective adulthood (Honwana, 2012;Masquelier, 2013), homes (Nielsen, 2014), miracles (Turner, 2015), even unrest (Vigh, 2015). Much of the anthropological literature on the subject focuses on waiting as a transitory state, either through notions of "waithood" (Honwana, 2012) and "stuckedness" (Hage, 2009c) or with regard to displaced people (Janeja and Bandak, 2018;Turner, 2015). This article, in contrast, focuses on a type of waiting that is structural rather than liminal and is oriented towards the immediate future rather than a more distant one. ...
... But Bernice will not consider it; she is not simply biding her time at the harbour until something better comes along. She is not in a liminal condition, caught in a state of neither-here-nor-there, as are so many people who wait (Hage, 2009b;Honwana, 2012;Janeja and Bandak, 2018;Stasik et al., 2020). Bernice is fully engaged in her activity at the fishing harbour. ...
Article
Twenty years after The Economist called Africa “the hopeless continent” (13 May 2000), the view has profoundly changed. At least until the pandemic, the effects of which are unclear at the present time, the dominant mood had been decidedly positive, one of “Lions on the Move”. This euphoria was supported by perceived dynamics in economic fields like agriculture, mobile phones, microfinance and supermarkets (with regard to agricultural supply chains), as well as social transformations such as urbanisation, educational expansion, improved health care and the rise of the middle classes. In this context, the focus of development policy has shifted, with Private Sector Development (PSD) as the dominant paradigm. Against this background, this issue aims to explore ethnographically the links between businesspeople and their associations, private sector support from the state and international development agencies and emergent (or not) capitalism in Africa. At an analytical level, our contributors study the relationship between business and politics in their specialist countries, while at a policy level, they seek to gauge the real-life effects of PSD, and in particular what kind of “business” is described and celebrated as “emerging”.
... The experience of formal education transforms young people's knowledge, capacities and values, shaping how they see themselves in the present and where they see themselves in the future (see Kingston et al. 2003). Normatively, education also improves life chances, notably through employment, which in turn facilitates other life transitions necessary for independent adulthood (Honwana 2012;Cieslik & Simpson 2013). ...
... Young people in Ghana and, indeed, on the rest of the continent, are aware of the diminishing value of a graduate degree in terms of employment prospects. Even while they expect higher education qualifications to open doors for them through secure employment, they recognise that such credentials do not have as much value as they did in terms of work and general life prospects (Honwana 2012). From a human capital perspective, one explanation is that higher education may not be providing young people the skills needed to obtain and to do work. ...
... The question of young people's satisfaction with higher education is a measure of the value they accord to it. The entire survey focused on the transition to and prospects for work, and so graduates' self-reported satisfaction can be assumed to be with primary reference to the opportunity higher education provided them for employment (see Honwana 2012). An overwhelming majority (94 per cent) of the sample -irrespective of programme of study, type of institution, or terminal credentials -expressed satisfaction with the education they had obtained. ...
Article
Full-text available
The massification of higher education, fuelled in part by demand from young people and their families, has coincided with more competition in the graduate labour market. This article seeks insight into the interpretative framework through which graduates view the relationship between higher education and the labour market. Specifically, given evidence of diminishing employment opportunities for graduates, the study examines the relative strengths of human capital theory and credentialism in explaining the value that young people continue to place on higher education. Using survey data from a sample of 2,036 Ghanaian higher education graduates, the article investigates the relative value students accord to skills and credentials through analysis of two self-report measures: satisfaction with their higher education experience, and, second, labour market expectations in respect of employment and income. Overall, non-degree holders self-assessed as having more skills training. Nonetheless, degree-holders generally were more satisfied with their educational achievements and had higher labour market expectations than those without degrees. These findings imply that young people value higher education less in terms of the skills they acquire and more in regards to the face-value of the qualifications they obtain, indicating a credentialist perspective that is in marked contrast to the human capital approach which undergirds policymaking on higher education in Ghana and much of the African continent.
... Their performance practices embody potential solutions to community problems and thereby create opportunities for connection with other youth and across the gerontocratic divide. They also navigate various powerful institutions as revealed by the financial support Cynthia received for her campaign (also see Blanks Jones, 2018;Hansen 2005;Honwana 2012). The youth actors were collectively empowered to raise issues to a national audience through their writing and performances. ...
... While inexperienced, these youth are immersed in globalized worlds of social expression through creative outlets(Perullo 2005; Suriano 2007; Thieme 2018). Combining creativity with desire for creating social change, youth innovate new practices and repackage traditional practices, paving an avenue for becoming instruments of social change(Honwana 2012; Sommers 2010; Swartz et al. 2021;Hansen 2008; Weiss 2009). The youth-led INGOs in this research are examples of these "places of possibility," defined as places which, ...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines how social status reflects children’s awareness of climate change, youth activism, and human and non-human dynamics. Adult-centered perspectives often generalize children as homogenous, as if all children share a common childhood experience and similar ideas about the world. To challenge this perspective, I illuminate diverse childhoods in the face of climate change and climate change activism. I share preliminary observations about the diversity of childhood (s)(Hecht 2002) by discussing two different fieldwork moments and sets of findings: the first reflects my doctoral study on children’s engagement with digital spaces where I met upper-class children from Istanbul, Turkey in a school atmosphere (Demiral 2019); the second reflects an ongoing child participation project at Boğaziçi University that focuses on children’s diverse and everyday environments.
... This study is unique in that it gives an account of youth in Liberia that is not directly focused on how the experience of war affects the development of political identifications (Honwana, 2011;Hoffman, 2011;Utas, 2005;Boyden & deBerry, 2004). Along with other parts of Africa, Liberia has a generation of young people that have never seen war but live with its economic repercussion as evidenced by weak government institutions and the lack of infrastructure (Abbink & VanKessel, 2005;Honwana, 2012;Sommers, 2010;Sommers, 2012). A focus on international aid alone does not address political root causes and therefore fails to solve structural problems in Africa (Ferguson, 1990). ...
... By constantly engaging in these grant-based projects for short-term benefits, youth lose time. There are two major harms in this: first, "youth" is prolonged as the capabilities that make it possible for young people to take the lead in imagining and realizing new visions for their futures are constrained (Hansen, 2014;Honwana, 2012;Strong, 2017). The second problem is that these transactional exchanges enhance cleavages between the perceived dichotomies such as local and global, expert and beneficiary, and other false binaries that separate rather than unify. ...
Article
Research on the civic engagement and citizenship education of youth in Africa rarely considers their cultural production. Based on one year of ethnographic data collection (September 2018-August 2019) at a youth theater company in Liberia, of which I am the Founder and Executive Director, this performance ethnography examines the process of creating popular theatre as it draws from the lived experiences of participants while it aims to change the very systems and structures that shape their opportunities and capabilities. In analyzing the interactions between youth and their peers, their communities and members of the international community, this study offers a theory of change for how young people in Liberia transition from perceived beneficiaries to civic actors. I conceive of citizenship broadly, seeking to understand how young people in Liberia engage with and utilize artistic performance-based practices as a form of emergent participatory citizenship which shapes their political socialization. Young people in Liberia strategically navigate differential power between themselves and international development personnel as evidence of embodied cosmopolitanism that encompasses the skills, knowledge and attitudes often reserved for characterizing the global citizenship practices of primarily white youth from the global North. Through interactions with international persons within NGOs that fund their theatre projects, they integrate global matters of concern into their projects, thus reframing them as local problems and reorienting themselves as civic actors in everyday performances of global citizenship. On the interpersonal level, theatre arts contribute to the development of crucial bonds between actors, which may lay the foundation for shifting from identity-based to membership-based civic status. I find that these transformative moments leave the stage and permeate their everyday lives reshaping the social relations that perpetuate gender-based, educational, and health inequities. My research demonstrates how these strategic navigations and crucial bonds are illuminated in everyday performances that build upon the concept of embodied cosmopolitanism as a form of global citizenship education. I argue that this iterative process of engagement and training in popular theatre gives youth the tools they need to strategically craft everyday performances of citizenship.
... Their performance practices embody potential solutions to community problems and thereby create opportunities for connection with other youth and across the gerontocratic divide. They also navigate various powerful institutions as revealed by the financial support Cynthia received for her campaign (also see Blanks Jones, 2018;Hansen 2005;Honwana 2012). The youth actors were collectively empowered to raise issues to a national audience through their writing and performances. ...
... While inexperienced, these youth are immersed in globalized worlds of social expression through creative outlets(Perullo 2005; Suriano 2007; Thieme 2018). Combining creativity with desire for creating social change, youth innovate new practices and repackage traditional practices, paving an avenue for becoming instruments of social change(Honwana 2012; Sommers 2010; Swartz et al. 2021;Hansen 2008; Weiss 2009). The youth-led INGOs in this research are examples of these "places of possibility," defined as places which, ...
Article
Part of a wonderful collection of NEOS, the flagship publication of the Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG) of the American Anthropological Association entitled: "Local Realities and Global Challenges: Approaches to Childhood and Youth Studies from the Global South". The compilation includes articles on child and youth participation and perspectives and on migration and movement of children in the Global South.
... Instead of defining participants as young workers (that is, in terms of age and employment status), we use the term 'next-generation professionals' to reflect the way they self-identify, their diversity in status and age, and their aim to move into professions. We understand 'youth' as a social category shaped by contextual social processes and examine people in 'waithood', who may have aged out of agestratified categorisations of youth but are still caught in education-to-work transitions and lack many of the expectations and responsibilities associated with adulthood (see Honwana, 2012). ...
... These next-generation professionals self-organised outside of the occupational unions, we argue, because of the precarious and prolonged nature of their transitions. We contribute to the literature on unions and young workers by showing how this extended period of precarity -which may be characterised as 'waithood' (Honwana, 2012) -affects the relationship between people making education-towork transitions and established trade unions. The issue is not just precarious work in the sense of poor jobs that could be addressed through stronger workplace union structures and collective bargaining, although these matter. ...
Article
Much is known about innovative union strategies to organise young workers, but little is known about how and why they self-organise outside of unions. Based on field research in Slovenia, we examine 'next-generation welfare professionals', a diverse group of students, unemployed graduates and precarious workers attempting to enter state-regulated, and relatively well unionised education and social protection professions. We argue that their self-organisation is a direct consequence of their precarious education-to-work transitions and consequent disembeddedness from the workplace and professional community. Their grievances stem from a mismatch between strict professional entry requirements and scarce paid internships, which lead to long unemployment spells, unsupportive active labour market schemes, and a fear of social exclusion. Their initial tactic was to establish communities from which a collective sense of injustices and self-organising emerged and they targeted policymakers with demands for sustainable government funded internships. Although their relations with established trade unions are not close, they do receive organisational support from the Trade Union Youth Plus that organises students, the unemployed and precarious graduates stuck in a transitional stage of 'waithood'. Our findings show the need for unions to become more present within transitional zones that, are shaped by state policies.
... He uses the term "iliminality (or failed liminality)" to demonstrate how "instead of undergoing smooth transitions into adulthood, young people (as individuals and as members of groups) navigate unpredictable paths in their search for stability and meaningful lives" positioning themselves as "youth" but claiming and celebrating social adult status (11). Honwana (2012) refers to this stagnation as "waithood", a concept created from the terms "wait" and "hood" and defining the ontological position of suspended and incomplete becoming in a long wait for adulthood. Honwana (2012, 19) observes that young people in this state are concurrently no longer children in need of care but still unable to become independent adults. ...
Article
This article is a reflection on the notorious figure of the fake that became popular in Cameroon and other African cities at the height of the continent’s socio-political and economic decline following the structural adjustment measures introduced to salvage the economic crisis. The article discusses this economy of Internet puppy scams and the ways in which these are intertwined with young people’s activism to disrupt neo-colonial continuities and global practices and processes of social abandonment and greed that invest in what is construed locally as derelict humanism and misplaced humanitarianism. The article explores the meaning of dogs in Cameroon to show the absurdity of transacting with American and European clients who revere and are ready to spend significant sums of money to import puppies from a place in which people are struggling to survive. I conclude by arguing that puppy scammers are at once seductive criminals, creative destructors and radical decolonial disruptors.
... While they are frequently taken up uncritically in policy circles, such definitions have received searching treatment from anthropologists who have demonstrated the cultural specificity of a chronological determination of stages such as infancy (Gottlieb 2000;DeLoache & Gottlieb 2000;Gottlieb & DeLoache 2016), childhood (Toren 1993;Bluebond-Langner & Korbin 2007;Henderson 1999Henderson , 2017 and youth (Durham 2004), and the transition between categories such as adolescence and adulthood (De Boeck & Honwana 2005;Hansen 2008, Bray et al. 2010, Honwana 2012. However, while careful attention has been paid to the implicit scaffolding that names, defines and categorises children and childhood, the programmatic global discourse of child health and early childhood development dominates and continues to shape enquiry in this area, rendering visible or invisible different aspects or periods of childhoodnot known because not looked for. ...
Article
In 1995, Pamela Reynolds published a stringent critique of the lack of attention to children in southern African Anthropology. ‘Not known because not looked for’ made a powerful case for careful and close attention to children’s worlds. Her diagnosis was terse; anthropology had not made sufficient theoretical inroads to understanding children and childhoods despite a research method that seemed custom-made for the task. Twenty-five years later, the picture has changed considerably, but there are still significant gaps, particularly in relation to babies and infancy. In this article, we offer an overview of developments in anthropological work and then suggest approaches for work with infants. The objective of such work is not simply to fill in missing gaps in knowledge, but to raise epistemological and methodological questions about how we come to know.
... This extant literature affirms the agency of young migrants and refugees who seek out alternatives to danger, poverty or disenfranchisement (even though those alternatives are often highly risky and/or likely to confine them to new forms of poverty and disenfranchisement) and who seek to move out of a period of limbo increasingly framed in the literature on youth transitions as 'waithood'. 'Waithood' is defined as a period in which young people are suspended between childhood and adulthood but are actively seeking ways to bridge that transition (Honwana 2012). It is important to emphasise that waithood does not imply passivity; young people actively anticipate and engage with the future from the position they find themselves in (Abebe 2020). ...
Article
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Our article explores how intersecting crises, sociocultural norms around gender, age, household and community and broader political and economic shifts are affecting youth transitions. We draw on qualitative virtual research with 138 young people in Ethiopia and Jordan undertaken between April and August 2020. COVID-19 is exacerbating ongoing crises and gender inequalities in Ethiopia and Jordan and foreclosing opportunities for youth transitions. In Ethiopia, the pandemic has compounded the precarity of young people who have migrated from rural to urban areas, often to locations where they are socially marginalised. In Jordan, the confinement of young people affected by forced displacement to their households with extended family during pandemic-related service closures augments existing perceptions of an extended ‘waithood’—both psychosocially and economically. In both contexts, conservative gender norms further entrench the restrictions on adolescent girls’ mobility with consequences for their opportunities and wellbeing. This article makes an important contribution to the literature on gender, migrant youth and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by showing how multiple crises have sharpened the social and political (im)mobilities that already shaped young men and women’s lives in Ethiopia and Jordan and the consequences for their trajectories to adulthood.
... Add to that the success and global adaptability of the culturewhich provides its entrepreneurs with not only enormous influence but also an ideal focus group-and you will understand why rappers make better businesspeople Integrated within these concerns are also the contemporary realities of the work environment. Pervaded with a challenging amalgam of economic downturns, reduced government activities in public welfare (Thieme, 2017), integra-tion of computerisation which leads to reduced need for human interventions, as well as the fragmentation of formal employment (Castells, 2012;Harvey, 2012;Honwana, 2012), the availability of work opportunities has been significantly altered for many in what should have constituted the 'economically active' population. For many young people, the reality of unemployment or underemployment regularly stares them in the face (Comaroff and Comaroff, 2005;Wilson, 2009). ...
Article
One of the endearing qualities of the Hip-Hop genre is its penchant for crass materialism where artistes lyrically brag about their successes while unabashedly flaunting the ostentatious proceeds of their newfound fame. This resonates with the contemporary constructs of individualism and self-realisation in line with social expectations. However, beyond the photo ops, these artistes indeed go the extra mile in achieving success. In this article, the portraiture of hustling , which indexes survival in any form, is explored. Fifteen purposively selected songs by Nigerian Hip-Hop artistes constitute the data. For one, many of the popular Hip-Hoppers defied the stranglehold of poverty before recording personal successes. They thus reference the street as a domain of hustling and recount their experiences. Different contextual or social orientations of hustling in Nigeria are discursively constructed by the artists. It is framed as a prerequisite for achieving success (regardless of how!); as a necessity to meet familial responsibility; and as combat with perceived enemies. Additionally, Nigerian Hip-Hop artistes annex hustling as a psychological/mental activity as well as a metaphor for God’s blessings. The study concludes that hustling typifies the underground economy and the almost limitless extent to which Nigerian Hip-Hoppers work for their successes.
... V dôsledku pokračovania a zintenzívnenia týchto trendov nie je prekvapením, že v poslednom období zažíva výskumný záujem o proces prechodu do dospelosti renesanciu. K zosilneniu výskumných aktivít nepochybne napomohla aj dostupnosť štatistických údajov a dát pochádzajúcich z medzinárodných výskumných projektov, ktoré umožňujú zachytiť hlavné kontúry dospievania a určujúce faktory načasovania udalostí a poradia, v ktorom sa objavujú, tak na národnej, ako aj komparatívnej úrovni, a to naprieč všetkými kontinentmi (napríklad Billari 2005, Billari -Liefb roer 2010, Breen -Buchmann 2002, Blossfeld -Klijzing -Mills -Kurz 2005, Buchmann -Kriesi 2011, Corijn -Klijzing 2001, Dhillon -Yousef 2008, Elzinga -Liefb roer 2007, Esping-Andersen -Billari 2015, Furstenberg 2010, Gauthier 2007, Gebel -Heyne 2014, Hofäcker -Chaloupková 2014, Hogan -Astone 1986, Honwana 2012, Iacovou 2002, Juárez -Gayet 2014, Lacinová -Ježek -Macek 2016, Macek -Bejček -Vaníčková 2007, Marini 1984, Mayer 2001, Rindfuss -Swicegood -Rosenfeld 1987, Shanahan 2000, Zimmermann -Konietzka 2018. ...
... (24-year-old female, interview in Wolof and French, Dakar, 2008) All this occurs in a wider context of a large number of Senegalese youths expressing the desire to migrate. Traveling abroad is a crucial issue; migration appears as a major, if not unique, social lever of self-improvement for young Africans largely stuck in "waithood" (Honwana 2012). In this respect, we can also rely on Zygmunt Bauman's idea that "mobility climbs to the rank of the uppermost among the coveted values -and freedom to move, perpetually a scarce and unequally distributed commodity, fast becomes the main stratifying factor of our late-modern or postmodern times. ...
... They emphasised the need for sustained engagement beyond the immediate wartime setting, particularly in the face of ongoing resource shocks and constraints. As a result of the ongoing structural challenges faced by young people, 'waithood' or waiting for progress and change in the future is positioned as a hallmark of young African people's lives (Honwana 2012). Yet these young people, 'in the process of waiting . . . ...
Article
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Building on the proposal for a ‘culturally sensitive’ framework of resilience, this article explores the construction of resilience at an individual and community level. Through the lens of sport, we explore the relational nature of resilience and its relationship to ideas of morality and community well-being. Using interviews and focus groups conducted across northern Uganda 2018–2020, we engage youth perspectives on resilience or restoration (roco). We emphasise the gendered dimensions that shape different stakeholder’s understandings of the concept and that, in this context, the pursuit of a community-affirmed vision of resilience or good surroundings (piny maber) reinforces pre-existing inequalities.
... Indeed, a growing body of work is increasingly making explicit the connection between the disenfranchisement and limited employment and education opportunities for young people, and ongoing economic restructuring processes and political instability (Mains, 2012). Detailed research across multiple contexts in the global South explores the consequences of these policies for the extreme inequalities in opportunities and outcomes of youth around the world as well as emphasising the agency of young people in navigating these conditions (Jeffrey 2012; Honwana 2012Honwana , 2019Abebe 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
Given increasing policy attention to the consequences of youth marginalisation for development processes, engaging with the experiences of socially marginalised adolescents in low- and middle-income countries (including those who are out of school, refugees, married, with disabilities or adolescent parents) is a pressing priority. To understand how these disadvantages—and adolescents’ abilities to respond to them—intersect to shape opportunities and outcomes, this Special Issue draws on the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence conceptual framework which accounts for gender roles and norms, family, community and political economy contexts in shaping adolescents’ capabilities. Implicitly critiquing a focus within youth studies on individual agency, the articles advance our understanding of how adolescents’ marginalisation is shaped by their experiences, social identities and the contexts in which they are growing up. An analytical framework foregrounding intersectionality and collective capabilities offers a means to politicise these findings and challenge uncritical academic celebration of individual agency as the means to address structural problems.
... It is necessary to examine how they experience their relationships with others, including how adults conceptualize and influence the lives of children and youths (Boyden and Ennew 1997). In this regard, a generational perspective is useful for understanding the position of children in the web of power relations and discourses that characterize any society (Honwana 2012 Children are both human beings and human becomings 4 ...
Book
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If you want to work ethically with children in your research in Indonesia and/or are curious about how children can meaningfully participate in research, this handbook is for you. This handbook was developed by a group of multidisciplinary research and program practitioners who are of Indonesian origin or have worked for a significant period of time in different parts of Indonesia. Not only is this handbook informed by years of fieldwork, but it has also gone through consultations with several researchers, academicians, program implementers, and development partners, all working on issues revolving child protection and wellbeing. We hope this handbook will be relevant to people working in or with those capacities.
... The socio-demographic pro les of migrating in our study were in keeping with the commonly held image of migrants from prior research in SSA. The high proportion of young women and men of working age with secondary education among migrants may re ect the persistence of historical labour-related mobility from rural to urban settings to seek greater employment opportunities [42][43][44][45][46]. Moreover, transition into early adulthood is an important life-course marker that is synonymous with establishing independent adult status, and often requires out-migration [47][48]. ...
Preprint
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Globally, South Africa ranks worst for people living with HIV (PLHIV) and the unique legacy of internal labour migration continues to be a major driver of the regional epidemic, interrupting treatment-as-prevention efforts. The study examined levels, trends, and predictors of migration in rural KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, using population-based surveillance data from 2005 through 2017. We followed 69 604 adult participants aged 15-49 years and recorded their migration events (i.e., out-migration from the surveillance area) in 423 038 person-years over 525 397 observations. Multiple failure Cox-regression models were used to measure the risk of migration by socio-demographic factors: age, sex, educational status, marital status, HIV, and community antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage. Overall, 69% of the population cohort experienced at least one migration event during the follow-up period. The average incidence rate of migration was 9.96 events and 13.23 events per 100 person-years in women and men, respectively. Migration rates declined from 2005 to 2008 then peaked in 2012 for both women and men. Adjusting for other covariates, the risk of migration was 3.4-times higher among young women aged 20-24 years compared to those aged ≥40 years (adjusted Hazard Ratio [aHR]=3.37, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 3:19-3.57), and 2.9-times higher among young men aged 20-24 years compared to those aged ≥40 years (aHR=2.86, 95% CI:2.69-3.04). There was a 9% and 27% decrease in risk of migration among both women (aHR=0.91, 95% CI: 0.83 – 0.99) and men (aHR=0.73, 95% CI 0.66 – 0.82) respectively per every 1% increase in community ART coverage. Young unmarried women including those living with HIV, migrated at a magnitude similar to that of their male counterparts, and lowered as ART coverage increased over time, reflecting the role of improved HIV services across space in reducing out-migration. A deeper understanding of the characteristics of a migrating population provides critical information towards identifying and addressing gaps in the HIV prevention and care continuum in an era of high mobility.
... However, hustling can also be understood a condition of insecurity and uncertainty among people and a form of practice by those individuals to overcome their precarious existence (Honwana, 2012;also Vigh, 2006). In describing, the experiences of youth in Nairobi slums, Thieme (2018: 531) Berg et al., 2018;Rani and Furrer 2020). ...
Article
This article examines the impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic on ride‐hailing drivers in Africa. It argues that though ride‐hailing offers paid‐work to some African workers, the commodified and informalised nature of this work results in poor job quality. The effects of which are greatly amplified during the pandemic. Drawing on a mixed methods approach: in‐depth interviews with ride‐hailing drivers in Nairobi and digital ethnography, it also provides a narrative of ‘hustle’ to outline strategies of resilience, reworking, and resistance among informal workers. It concludes by highlighting the need for adequate regulatory frameworks and on‐the‐ground solidarity networks to ensure decent working conditions and to push back against precarity in the gig economy.
... The socio-demographic profiles of migrating in our study were in keeping with the commonly held image of migrants from prior research in SSA. The high proportion of young women and men of working age with secondary education among migrants may reflect the persistence of historical labour-related mobility from rural to urban settings to seek greater employment opportunities [40][41][42][43][44][45][46]. Notably, this near-convergence of migration by sex, if conducted for remunerative purposes may help improve the de-facto economic standing of female-headed households, currently poorer than male-headed households in South Africa [47]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, South Africa hosts the highest number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and the unique legacy of internal labour migration continues to be a major driver of the regional epidemic, interrupting treatment-as-prevention efforts. The study examined levels, trends, and predictors of migration in rural KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, using population-based surveillance data from 2005 through 2017. We followed 69 604 adult participants aged 15–49 years and recorded their migration events (i.e., out-migration from the surveillance area) in 423 038 person-years over 525 397 observations. Multiple failure Cox-regression models were used to measure the risk of migration by socio-demographic factors: age, sex, educational status, marital status, HIV, and community antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage. Overall, 69% of the population cohort experienced at least one migration event during the follow-up period. The average incidence rate of migration was 9.96 events and 13.23 events per 100 person-years in women and men, respectively. Migration rates declined from 2005 to 2008 then peaked in 2012 for both women and men. Adjusting for other covariates, the risk of migration was 3.4-times higher among young women aged 20–24 years compared to those aged ≥ 40 years (adjusted Hazard Ratio [aHR] = 3.37, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 3:19–3.57), and 2.9-times higher among young men aged 20–24 years compared to those aged ≥ 40 years (aHR = 2.86, 95% CI:2.69–3.04). There was a 9% and 27% decrease in risk of migration among both women (aHR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.83 – 0.99) and men (aHR = 0.73, 95% CI 0.66 – 0.82) respectively per every 1% increase in community ART coverage. Young unmarried women including those living with HIV, migrated at a magnitude similar to that of their male counterparts, and lowered as ART coverage increased over time, reflecting the role of improved HIV services across space in reducing out-migration. A deeper understanding of the characteristics of a migrating population provides critical information towards identifying and addressing gaps in the HIV prevention and care continuum in an era of high mobility.
... Jats have dominated campus politics and benefited from privileged networks acting as brokers between private educational entrepreneurs and universities, therefore reinforcing their relative social privilege (Jeffrey, Jeffrey and Jeffrey 2010;Jeffrey 2012). Individualised youth political action also includes the creative management of "vital conjunctures" such as prolonged unemployment -experienced as "boredom" (Masquelier 2013), "being stuck" (Sommers 2012) and "in limbo" (Honwana 2012). Such hardships can lead young people to join labour institutions (Mills 1999), indulge in everyday politicking (Mains 2012) or initiate innovative waste recycling ventures (Thieme 2010). ...
Thesis
This thesis focuses on everyday contemporary campus politics in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. My central argument is that institutional territories of new social and ideological experimentation, such as this elite and predominantly social sciences and humanities campus, create the conditions for the reproduction of alternative political cultures, pertaining to the historical formation of such institutions. Current scholarship tends to discuss political choices of educated Indian youth in a context of caste, class, community and gender cleavages, as a result of parental upbringing or as a creative interpretation of phenomena such as liberalisation. The original contribution to knowledge of this work is to show that specific campus-based cultures need to be considered as distinct factors of politicisation, in particular when they are the training ground for under-represented political traditions. Through engaging critically with one’s social standings in light of contending left ideologies, young people in the JNU campus exhibit political activities and preferences that gradually distinguish them both from other youth and older generations. Consequently, features of political life are not only influenced by biographical components, but are renegotiated in light of selective political socialisation, carried on by one generation of activist to the next. Exposure to the Marxist-dominated activist culture of JNU fosters student politicisation and contributes to the widening of a political divide between conformist and heretic youth. The study is based on sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in JNU premises. Results obtained are complemented by a textual analysis of pamphlet discourses written by student organisations and a survey of political attitudes on campus. These contribute to the debates on student politics and the political participation of the educated youth in India.
... Perhaps a way out of the conundrum is to remember the words 'to' and 'for', which often follow 'wait', when exploring waiting. I might agree that waiting or 'waithood' (Honwana 2012) is interesting to explore as a social practice in itself. However, by focusing solely on the practice of waiting, we forget that people usually wait for something to happen or wait to do something or go somewhere. ...
... Waiting as an analytical terrain has often been theorised in a broader sense with regard to waiting for adulthood in precarious times (Honwana 2012), doing "timepass" in India owing to the lack of social mobility in times of mass unemployment (Jeffrey 2010) and, from a South African perspective, the long wait for the state with regard to providing subsidised housing for poor people (Oldfield and Greyling 2015). However, the effects of waiting have also been theorised in the more direct and literal sense of actually waiting for one's benefits at the welfare office (Auyero 2011;Carswell, Chambers, and 6 De Neve 2019) or the insecurities associated with waiting to collect social grants in South Africa (Vally 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, I explore the ways in which encounters with the state through cash transfers shape state-citizen relations in the rural Eastern Cape, South Africa. I expand on literature that advances an understanding of the way in which state cash transfers can act as a vehicle for either strengthening a sense of citizenship, dignity and entitlement or reproducing inequality, stigmatisation and shame. Using qualitative methods to explore cash transfer recipients' own lived experiences and drawing on a social justice framework, I illustrate complex state-citizen relations in rural South Africa. Although some recipients perceive grants as a form of charity, there is also a growing sense of entitlement to receiving cash transfers. The interviews and observations suggest that misrecognition has occurred through mistreatment by state officials and extraordinary long queues during a change in service delivery. However, the encounters with state bureaucracy are also potential avenues in which impoverished people see the state and gain recognition, which contributes to a sense of citizenship.
... Perhaps a way out of the conundrum is to remember the words 'to' and 'for', which often follow 'wait', when exploring waiting. I might agree that waiting or 'waithood' (Honwana 2012) is interesting to explore as a social practice in itself. However, by focusing solely on the practice of waiting, we forget that people usually wait for something to happen or wait to do something or go somewhere. ...
Book
Full-text available
Material Culture and (Forced) Migration argues that materiality is a fundamental dimension of migration. During journeys of migration, people take things with them, or they lose, find and engage things along the way. Movements themselves are framed by objects such as borders, passports, tents, camp infrastructures, boats and mobile phones. This volume brings together chapters that are based on research into a broad range of movements – from the study of forced migration and displacement to the analysis of retirement migration. What ties the chapters together is the perspective of material culture and an understanding of materiality that does not reduce objects to mere symbols. Centring on four interconnected themes – temporality and materiality, methods of object-based migration research, the affective capacities of objects, and the engagement of things in place-making practices – the volume provides a material culture perspective for migration scholars around the globe, representing disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, contemporary archaeology, curatorial studies, history and human geography. The ethnographic nature of the chapters and the focus on everyday objects and practices will appeal to all those interested in the broader conditions and tangible experiences of migration.
Chapter
In a national context embroiled in political-economic crisis, Zimbabwean youth have configured social spaces on social media platforms to resist political oppression. This chapter focuses on the ways in which youth respond to political oppression in Zimbabwe through the creative utilization of cyberspace and popular entertainment, more particularly, social media such as Facebook, Twitter, popular humor, and music. The chapter asserts that social media platforms now function as new forms of popular culture, which youth produce in textual, photographic, and video forms in responding to and challenging oppressive politics and regimes in Africa.
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Ini adalah buku pegangan mengenai cara-cara etis dalam melibatkan anak-anak dalam penelitian Anda di Indonesia dan bagaimana agar anak-anak dapat berpartisipasi secara bermakna dalam penelitian Anda. Buku ini dikembangkan oleh sekelompok peneliti multidisipliner dan praktisi program dari Indonesia atau yang telah lama bekerja di berbagai daerah di Indonesia. Selain didasarkan pada pengalaman kerja lapangan bertahun-tahun, buku ini telah melalui pembahasan dan konsultasi dengan teman-teman peneliti, pelaksana program, dan mitra pembangunan, semua bekerja dalam isu perlindungan dan kualitas hidup anak. Kami harap buku ini juga bermanfaat bagi pihak-pihak yang bekerja dalam atau dengan kapasitas tersebut.
Article
This article critiques productivist and wage‐centric conceptualisations of labour by analysing the labouring practices of jobless degree holders in the Indian Himalayas. I draw on ethnographic material to illuminate how young men developed forms of unpaid labour that centred skills associated with their educational credentials. Educated youth were able to produce positive reputations through their labour and made sense of their activities as making a social contribution to others. Yet their labouring practices also affirmed dominant modes of masculinity and reinscribed patriarchal gender relations. While jobless degree holders were excluded from the kinds of jobs they desired, I argue that they were able to yield status and respect by embodying competencies that white collar jobs demanded. Situating jobless degree holders within productive relations creates scope for illuminating how they attempt to assert their productive capacities in the face of long‐term unemployment.
Thesis
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She Slayed Her Single Story: An African Feminist Exploration into the Life Herstory Narratives of Women Participants in the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in Kagiso, South Africa Abstract Single stories fortify single truths by which certain groupings of people are defined. This base reduction of the lives of women in Africa creates a hypervisible narrative of a perceived hegemonic grouping of African women who are seemingly unable to move beyond daily strife, unable to pursue universal goals or even to dare fulfil personal aspirations. In South Africa, the single story of Expanded Public Works Programme [EPWP] beneficiaries has been largely documented through government communication channels. These government sponsored narratives create a powerful single story of the EPWP beneficiary that fixates on the positive impact of this temporary income transfer. This thesis moves beyond statistical evidence and disembodied anecdotal evidence to narrate the life herstories of nine African black women participants in the EPWPs infrastructure sector, National Youth Service and Zivuseni Reloaded projects at Leratong Hospital in Gauteng Province in South Africa. Utilising the lens of African feminisms coupled with the life history narrative method this thesis explores how participants in this study have leveraged this intervention to change their life herstories. This study “visibilises” critical life herstory scenes, evaluates the lived experiences of participants, investigates the similarities and or differences between participants and documents their experiences in recounting their life herstories. The life herstories contained herein pioneer a new narrative that positions the former object of the single story as the most significant agent in her own life. The findings indicate that participants are dissatisfied with the lack of accredited training and the quality of on-the-job training. They are frustrated that their contracts have rolled on for six years without gaining formal qualifications. The body politics of work are clearly articulated as is the disjuncture between government narratives of the grateful and empowered beneficiary. The findings highlight that patriarchal boundaries and preconceptions are institutionalised within the infrastructure sector. EPWP beneficiaries are subject to differential treatment by government employees. There is inequitable access to communal resources as government employees claim these as a right. Participants are consistently made aware of their precarious contracts and the transient nature of the programme. They believe they are filling labour gaps which should be replaced with permanent work. Participants indicate that EPWP labour frees permanent employees to undertake paid private work during working hours. The orange uniform of EPWP garners a mix of pride and stigma for participants. A culture of workplace sexual liaisons and workshop babies is prevalent. Each participant comes into this study clothed in her own life herstory, her choices as an African black woman are moulded by both her past experiences and future aspirations. Thus, her passage into the EPWP collective is as much a result of her current circumstances as well as her cumulative past. The herstories narrated in this thesis detail the trajectory of an individual life in progress and the strategies participants have channelled towards the attainment of the life they aspire to live. No two are the same as no two lives are the same. This thesis has not sought to achieve sameness but to examine the uncommon rarity of herstory. Keywords: Life History, African Feminism(s), Public Works Programme, Expanded Public Works Programme, Single Story, Herstory.
Thesis
In 1995 Uganda adopted a new Constitution mandating parliament and local councils to include disabled members, elected by registered disabled people in each community. Consequently, Uganda has an unusually institutionalised disability movement, with over 45,000 disabled councillors and, theoretically, disabled people’s organisations in every village. The political position of ‘disabled person’ is closely tied to Uganda’s governing party, the NRM, as a structural client, encouraging a form of ‘quiet politics’ aimed at fostering relationships to bring about future opportunities rather than approaching government or NGOs as citizens demanding rights. This thesis uses an ethnographic study (based on eighteen months of fieldwork) of a disabled women’s organisation called DWG to investigate the effects in disabled people’s lives. With a focus on the social determinants of obligation, it expands critically on anthropological literature treating dependence as a mode of political action. DWG is based in a peri-urban market in Bunyoro, where the core members run small retail businesses. Members receive grants from government and NGO small business programmes, which form the overwhelming majority of support available to disabled people in Uganda. Through analysing the distribution of one grant, I detail the disciplinary effects produced: the programmes establish an idealised model of newly empowered (post-1995) disabled people as independent and self-sufficient. This advantages an elite group who present the desired financial behaviour, including some members of DWG. Disabled people who do not fit the behavioural expectations (particularly people living with mental health problems or intellectual disability) do not benefit. However, DWG's operations are not fully determined by powerful infrastructure or actors. While entitlement to business funding is judged on economic performance, obligations accruing to relationships within the group are based on long-term togetherness, especially co-residence, giving the group a gendered historico-spatial specificity. Chapters 4-6 look at elements of DWG sociality that exceed the model of self-sufficient businesspeople. Even the most financially successful members rely on long-term relationships providing care and (for deaf members) communication assistance based on linguistic community, repurposing disability movement-derived resources to foster them. In this space, obligations turn on what I call ‘claims in relationship,’ a concept that blends theoretical work on dependence, clientelism, and obligation. My interlocutors use two diverging discourses. One, characterised by the word ‘obulema’ [disability] is closely associated with legal structures; its usage is largely restricted to the political disability community. The other, using the term ‘abaceke’ [weak people], is more widely used, forming part of a moral system of provisioning in which people who live together accrue mutual obligations in misfortune. In chapters 6 and 7 I look at the differential distribution of these discourses. The second can be more inclusive, allowing partial identification with those excluded from mainstream disability sociality (especially ‘mad’ people). However, because it relies on non-systematic personal connection, this group's challenges are not thereby fed into the infrastructure or funded activities of the disability movement. Chapter 7 looks at problematic interactions between the discourses, which impact on the most excluded during land disputes, in the context of industrial sugar farming.
Article
Professional boxing offers hope of vast wealth and global mobility for aspiring athletes in Accra, hopes bolstered by the understanding that Ghanaians are particularly suited to boxing's attrition. However, when boxers become active in the global industry, they encounter power relations which locate them as cheap, subordinate labour, and stymie their championship hopes. As boxers build lives through the sport, they reflect critically on the role their hopes of ‘making it big’ play in perpetuating industry inequalities, recognizing what I call the ideological function of hope. Despite this, they remain committed to hopes of dramatic success. Their simultaneous optimism and cynicism complicates contemporary accounts of hope as a strategy of resilience in contexts of profound uncertainty. Building on ethnographic research with Accra boxers, I theorize hoping as a paradoxical experience of critique and optimism in equal measure, to account for the contradictory ways people act when orienting themselves towards better futures. Mayweather est unique : une critique de l'espoir par ceux qui espèrent Résumé La boxe professionnelle offre aux jeunes athlètes d'Accra l'espoir d'accéder à la fortune et de voyager partout dans le monde, espoir fondé sur l'idée que les Ghanéens supportent particulièrement bien l'usure causée par cette pratique sportive. Pourtant, à leur entrée dans le circuit mondial, les boxeurs ghanéens se trouvent confrontés à des relations de pouvoir qui font d'eux une main d’œuvre subordonnée bon marché, bien loin de leurs espoirs de championnat. Tout en construisant leur vie à travers le sport, ils réfléchissent à la façon dont leurs espoirs de réussite contribuent à perpétuer les inégalités dans le circuit, prenant conscience de ce que l'auteur appelle la fonction idéologique de l'espoir. En dépit de tout, ils continuent à espérer une réussite spectaculaire. Ce mélange d'optimisme et de cynisme complique les récits contemporains de l'espoir comme stratégie de résilience dans les contextes de grande incertitude. À partir d'une recherche ethnographique menée auprès de boxeurs d'Accra, l'auteur théorise l'espoir comme une expérience paradoxale, mêlant à égale mesure critique et optimisme, pour relater les manières contradictoires dont les gens se tournent vers un avenir meilleur.
Chapter
This chapter interrogates the notion of youth entrepreneurship and leadership as the pathway towards dealing with youth poverty and unemployment in the context of South Africa. Entrepreneurship is gaining currency as one of the panacea for youth unemployment and underemployment within the government cycles and youth-orientated organizations. For youth entrepreneurship and leadership interventions to yield desired results, young people should master technology and be innovative in developing and growing sustainable businesses. It is against this that this chapter argues that through entrepreneurial mind-set together with innovative skills and competencies as well as financial and infrastructural support, young people could make a dent on existing poverty and unemployment challenges. Youth entrepreneurial organizations and projects are used to demonstrate the opportunities and challenges of using youth entrepreneurship as one of the pathways to deal with poverty and unemployment in South Africa.
Chapter
This chapter interrogates the impact that immigration policies have on Africa intra-trade and development. Institutional foundations exist with well-intentional initiatives, such as African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA), Trade Invest Africa Unit (TIAU), and African Growth and Opportunity Act. However, these initiatives are often undermined by anti-immigration policies, which, instead of promoting intra-continental trade and developmental state, make it impossible for countries and entrepreneurs to freely trade. The chapter argues that ill-conceived immigration policies undermine intra-Africa trade and development, as well as the continental attempts to develop adequate infrastructure, transport, and communication networks for Africa's development and economic prosperity. The chapter is qualitative and uses case studies to deliberate on the effects of immigration policies on Africa intra-trade and state development interventions.
Article
After the end of the Ethiopian-Eritrean border war (1998–2000) life resumed in Asmara, where the young generation flocked to cafés, bars and nightclubs after work or study. During my ethnographic fieldwork (2001–2005) I identified three larger social milieus that pursued and staged their own ideas of a good life: the chic, the shabby and the pious. Until the ‘political spring’ of summer 2001, young people looked forward to building up promising life careers inside the country. Eritrea needed young professionals more than ever before, and not everyone had fallen out with Eritrea’s guerrilla government. 2001s clampdown quickly changed future prospects for individuals, families and for society as a whole. In the different milieus’ meeting places, these events were well observed and cautiously discussed. Social life went on, but from now on performed visions of a good life became unreachable in real life. Migration appeared as the only answer. An existential view of selected protagonists and ethnographic sketches from the early 2000s will help to re-interpret the youth life-worlds of Asmara’s recent past in a regional history of ongoing violence.
Article
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Predmet ovog rada su kulturne predstave vezane za bolest, brigu i zavisnost u domaćinstvima takozvanog „zrelog zajedničkog stanovanja“. Ovaj koncept odnosi se na porodice u kojima roditelji žive sa svojom odraslom decom i u fokus stavlja fenomen „produžene mladosti“, te dužu tranziciju u odraslost, ekonomsku i stambenu zavisnost mladih ljudi u roditeljskom domu. Život mladih sa roditeljima u istraživanjima i narativima često se doživljava kao stvar prinude, uslovljene političkim i ekonomskim stanjem u zemlji. Imajući u vidu okolnosti pod kojima se odvijala i modifikovala situacija sa pandemijom kovida 19, od višemesečnog straha i panike do formalnog zatvaranja u vidu karantina, u radu diskutujem o porodičnim dinamikama, podeli poslova i eventualnim promenama uloga članova porodice koji se smatraju odgovornim za održavanje domaćinstva, nabavku i slično. Dalje, analiziram percepciju promena, preispitujući da li se odnos prema zajedničkom životu menja u situaciji pandemije kovida 19, posebno ispitujući način na koji ispitanici tumače sopstvene uloge, obaveze u okviru domaćinstva i brigu o njegovim članovima. Cilj ovog rada je da preispita mogućnosti i ograničenja porodične kohabitacije u potrazi za odgovorom na pitanje da li mladi ljudi i njihovi roditelji suživot tokom pandemije percipiraju kao pozitivnu i stratešku ili pak negativnu i opasnu okolnost. Diskutuje se i o tome da li su mladi, posmatrani kao opasnost u javnoj sferi, doživljeni i kao rizik u okviru svojih domova. Rad će se oslanjati na rezultate kvalitativnog istraživanja sprovedenog u Beogradu od aprila 2020. godine među mladima i njihovim roditeljima. The subject of this paper are cultural representations of disease, care and dependence in households of the so-called “mature coresidency”. This concept refers to families in which parents live with their adult children and focuses on the phenomenon of “extended youth” – longer transition to adulthood, economic and residential dependence of young people in the parental home. The life of young people with their parents, in research and narratives, is often perceived as a forced, conditioned by the political and economic situation in the country. Having in mind the circumstances under which the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic developed and changed, from months of fear and panic to formal closure in the form of quarantine, I discuss family dynamics, division of labor, and possible changes in the roles of family members responsible for household maintenance, grocery shopping etc. Furthermore, I analyze whether the attitude towards living together has changed in the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, by examining how interlocutors interpret their own roles, obligations within the household and care for its members. The aim of this paper is to review the opportunities and limitations of family cohabitation while examining whether young people and their parents perceive coresidency during the pandemic as a positive and strategic, or a negative and dangerous circumstance. Moreover, it will be discussed if young people, perceived as a risk in public sphere, are also perceived as a risk within their own households. The paper relies on the results of a qualitative research conducted in Belgrade since April 2020 among young adults their parents.
Chapter
This chapter analyses democratic electoral systems and their impact on advancing democratic governance and development in Africa. This includes the dynamics and rationale for choosing a particular electoral system over the other(s) and the results of such decisions to the electoral and representative democracy. The electoral systems famous in political science are proportional representation (PR) and constituency based, as well as the mixed electoral system. In this chapter, various electoral systems have been deliberated on in the context of electoral democracy and its democratization process. Thus, considering the denial and exclusion of the majority to full citizenship and democratic governance during the colonial and apartheid regimes. The chapter uses country-based case studies to demonstrate the importance of the electoral democratic system in fostering democratic good governance and development in Africa.
Article
This editorial introduces and frames the six papers of this special section. It begins by proposing that youth unemployment needs to be understood in relation to a range of patterns of “getting by” in the global south. We suggest that the many practices of work, including informal ones, discussed in the collection do not attest to a society in “need of development” but rather point towards the future of work, here and elsewhere. While taking transformations in capitalism seriously, we argue that renewed pressures on secure wage work may not lead to a precarity in quite the same way that it has been theorised in the global north. Instead, especially through a focus on youth and generation, we point to multiple experiential circumstances in which work and its futures are enacted. These pertain to time and value and to the importance of space in positioning actors in enabling or foreclosing opportunities for earning income.
Conference Paper
In taking the lens of the smartphone to understand experiences of ageing in a diverse neighbourhood in central Kampala, Uganda, this ethnography presents the articulation and practice of ‘togetherness in the dotcom age’. Taking a situated and ‘convivial’ approach, which celebrates multiple and partial ways of knowing about sociality, the thesis draws from these vernacular concepts of cooperative morality and modernity to consider the everyday mitigation of wide-reaching social processes. Dotcom is understood to encompass everything from the influence of ICTs to urban migration and lifestyles in the city, to profound shifts in ways of knowing and relating. At the same time, dotcom tools such as mobile phones and smartphones facilitate elder care obligations despite distances, for example through regular mobile money remittances. Whilst phones are a global phenomenon, both the concept of dotcom and the way people creatively adapt and adopt their phones has to be understood in relation to specific contextual conditions. This thesis is concerned with how dotcom manifests in relation to older people’s health, their care norms, their social standing, their values of respect and relatedness, and their intergenerational relationships - both political and personal. It thus re-frames the youth-centricity of research on the city and work, new media and technology, politics and service provision in Uganda. Through ethnographic consideration of everyday life and self-formation in this context, the thesis seeks to contribute to an ever-incomplete understanding of ‘intersubjectivity’, how we relate to each other and to the world around us.
Article
Full-text available
The subject of this paper are cultural representations of disease, care and dependence in households of the so-called “mature coresidency”. This concept refers to families in which parents live with their adult children and focuses on the phenomenon of “extended youth” - longer transition to adulthood, economic and residential dependence of young people in the parental home. The life of young people with their parents, in research and narratives, is often perceived as a forced, conditioned by the political and economic situation in the country. Having in mind the circumstances under which the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic developed and changed, from months of fear and panic to formal closure in the form of quarantine, I discuss family dynamics, division of labor, and possible changes in the roles of family members responsible for household maintenance, grocery shopping etc. Furthermore, I analyze whether the attitude towards living together has changed in the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, by examining how interlocutors interpret their own roles, obligations within the household and care for its members. The aim of this paper is to review the opportunities and limitations of family cohabitation while examining whether young people and their parents perceive coresidency during the pandemic as a positive and strategic, or a negative and dangerous circumstance. Moreover, it will be discussed if young people, perceived as a risk in public sphere, are also perceived as a risk within their own households. The paper relies on the results of a qualitative research conducted in Belgrade since April 2020 among young adults their parents.
Thesis
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The reality of the troubles young people encounter in navigating confining social and institutional settings to become productive workers and flourishing citizens in sub-Saharan African countries like Uganda continues to attract all sorts of theoretical and social policy assumptions. One such prominent assumption is the idea that increased young people’s participation in agricultural education and work has the potential to stem escalating youth unemployment. The related narrative that young people are less keen to plunge their learning and work life in agriculture owing to its low social status poses a huge education and labour policy dilemma across SSA and similar contexts. Amid this dilemma are narratives, which seem to underplay the influential social arrangements that structure the education-work trajectories of young people and the perceptions and practice of micro social actors in the agriculture education and labour markets. Questionable narratives that often attempt to frame young people as authors of their own troubled work transitions abound sections of social policy and development discourse. Moreover, mainstream research and evaluative studies in Uganda and similar contexts do have a traditional focus on macro and meso structures with limited methodological interest into the voices and experiences of frontline social actors. Accordingly, this qualitative study is in-depth examination of personal and contextual influences on young people’s agricultural education-employment transitions; and exploration of how to improve transition processes for optimising learning and labour market outcomes. The findings reveal unprecedented resilience and volitions of young people to advance their education-work trajectories despite the structural barriers. The study showed a reasonable degree of enthusiasm amongst some micro social actors in supporting young people on their life transitions though often constrained by confining social and institutional arrangements. The study yielded robust evidence into the difficulties to cause AET system improvements for better student outcomes but also delivered incredible insights for making change possible. Freeing and nurturing the individual agency of Ugandan young people to choose and pursue agricultural education and work aspirations along the constricting pathways enacted as part of societal canalization is among the core elements of this thesis. The agency freedom and professional autonomy of frontline social actors, especially agricultural educators to enable them to practise craftsmanship, democracy and associated transformative approaches for better preparation of young people to navigate their education and career trajectories is equally a core argument of this thesis.
Book
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The volume provides a critical appraisal of the smart-city agenda in Africa and especially in South Africa, paying special attention to the plight and possibilities for the country’s secondary cities. The volume explores a range of complex issues related to the legacies of settler colonialism, the efficacy of smart-city models, and the dynamics of urban renewal, the politics of infrastructural citizenship, racial inequality, and urban inclusion. In the end, the volume makes the case for retaining a strong policy and investment focus on existing urban areas in South Africa with particular emphasis on their core, inner-city precincts as primary sites for new smart-city investment and socio-economic re-development.
Article
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The African "youth" population is growing at a fast and steady pace, attracting attention from scholars, policymakers, and politicians. Yet, we know relatively little about this large and heterogeneous segment of the population. This paper presents data from 110 interviews and ten focus groups with youth engaged in commercial agriculture across all four regions of Uganda. Capitalising on this ethnographic data, we provide an analytical framework for studying complexity among the heterogeneous social category of youth agripreneurs. The aim of the paper is twofold: First, to reconcile anthropological studies that highlight the heterogeneity of African youth with demographic understandings of youth as a statistical category defined by an age bracket. Second, to advance an operational definition of youth that allows for more context-sensitive and tailored programmes. Our results suggest that while "youth" is an important category demographically, the opportunities and challenges faced by youths are often not related to age.
Article
The purpose of the present article is to analyze growing up trends and specific features of life trajectories of young people in Russia and foreign countries. The key factors accompanying the process of maturation of representatives of Millennial and Z generations include prolongation of the educational process and of acquiring financial independence, expansion of youth boundaries, non-linearity and diversity of life paths, specific cyclicity of “personal” events occurring. The research demonstrates that the life in the context of global risk society and permanent social instability requires young people to develop specific skills, willingness to constantly change and good adaptive abilities. It is also highlighted that the 21st century maturation patterns are influenced by the socio-cultural, economic, political specificities and traditions of a certain country or region. For example, the Anglo-Saxon model of maturation involves a desire for early separation from parents; countries with a strong social support system (Northern Europe), by contrast, are characterized by rather late maturation; societies with weak state welfare systems or with strong family traditions (Southern Europe, Latin America, Afro-Asian countries) usually rely on family resources and support from relatives; the transition from youth to maturity in the developed countries of Asia has a distinctive glocal nature. The mode of growing up in some regions (usually involved in armed conflicts) is subject to the regulations of survival in extreme situations. Russia is characterized by Pan-European and local maturation trends, as the life trajectories of Russian youth are significantly influenced by regional differences. The author also makes an assumption regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these trends.
Article
The rapidly expanding Mozambican suburb of Inhapossa is very much the product of urban precarity. Indeed, most people only end up there after having exhausted other options. Striking, however, is how residents have, in recent years, discursively and materially constructed the suburb as an idyllic urban place in the making, so much so that Inhapossa has become one of the most coveted neighborhoods in the area. This article proposes an ethnographic reflection on urban precarity that draws on theories “from the South” and extends the notion of suburb to the shifting urban edge in Mozambique. It examines how local land struggles have created new opportunities for people from very different backgrounds, and whose lives became entangled in unexpected life‐enhancing ways, to craft better futures for themselves and their families. Locating the transformative potential of urban precarity in the work of attuning one’s aspirations with one’s circumstances, it shows how the suburb—a space of aspirational compromise—can become a space of aspirational achievement.
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