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University of Amsterdam (2017)

Negotiating youth : how a hip-hop based grassroots initiative in Dakar became streetsmart in a formal setting

Roos Wouter

Titre : Negotiating youth : how a hip-hop based grassroots initiative in Dakar became streetsmart in a formal setting

Auteur : Roos Wouter

Université de soutenance : University of Amsterdam

Grade : Master 2017

Résumé _ Southern grassroots initiatives are often portrayed as passive beneficiaries, or as in desperate need to win the favor of actors within the international aid industry. Up till now little attention has gone to the way that these initiatives shape and re-shape not only the financial aid that they receive, but also the ideas of “what ought to be” that form the basis for this aid. This thesis aims to bring a change to this by looking at the interplay between international “youth” programs and their local counterparts in Dakar, Senegal. Ideas about youth form the basis for a large number of development projects, and have made young persons and the people that represent them the subject of NGO-programs that focus on a variety of themes. Because youth is such an ambiguous category, the basis for these programs can be traced back to a variety of different belief systems. Youth can thus be seen as a proxy for the spreading of ideologies, both on the international as well as the local scale. This research has focused on the way discourse is used to shape and re-shape these ideologies by hip-hop based grassroots initiatives in their interaction with formal development institutions. These interactions are analyzed in the form of a “game” of meaning giving that is being played out in the “arena” of Dakar. Through observations of- and semi-structured interviews with two grassroots initiatives and the NGOs that they work with, it has become clear that experience has made Dakarois youth and youth-professionals aware of their potential as a “target group”. Youth actors have become experts at interacting with international players in order to secure the resources they need. Still, through this interaction, parts of a Western youth ideology seem to trickle down to Dakarois youth and influence the choices they make. Whilst negotiating the ideologies that form the basis for the aid they receive, Dakarois youth and youth-professionals have thus also come to enact parts of that same ideology.

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Page publiée le 12 avril 2021