"Acholi Youth Are Lost” : Young, Christian and (A)political in Uganda

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Alava , H L 2017 , "Acholi Youth Are Lost” : Young, Christian and (A)political in Uganda . in O Elina , O Henri & S Leena (eds) , What Politics? : Youth and Political Engagement in Africa . Youth in a Globalizing World , vol. 6 , Brill , Leiden , pp. 158-178 . https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004356368_011

Title: "Acholi Youth Are Lost” : Young, Christian and (A)political in Uganda
Author: Alava, Henni Leena
Editor: Elina, Oinas; Henri, Onodera; Leena, Suurpää
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Global Development Studies
Publisher: Brill
Date: 2017
Language: eng
Number of pages: 21
Belongs to series: What Politics? Youth and Political Engagement in Africa
Belongs to series: Youth in a Globalizing World
ISBN: 9789004322448
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/232227
Abstract: This chapter analyses how the public discourse of ‘lost youth’ in post-war Acholiland manifests and is engaged with, particularly among well-educated Catholic and Protestant youngsters and young adults in the region who considered themselves ‘not lost’. I argue that the discourse of ‘lostness’ emerged in relation to my young informants’ disillusioned views on formal politics and the Ugandan state, and suggest that in distinguishing themselves from those who are ‘lost’, and in suggesting solutions to ‘lostness’, young Catholics and Protestants were expressing a particular kind of political agency: not being lost was seen as a prerequisite to being able to contribute to societal development and, ultimately, to being a politically engaged citizen. Finally, I demonstrate that, although the discourse of ‘lostness’ expressed a moral-panic type concern with the perceived uncontrollability of youth (Diouf 2003), embodying desires for rather conservative societal transformations, the discourse was also employed as a tool of critique against the ruling government.
Subject: 5203 Global Development Studies

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