The SIDGS' Brown Bag Series presents: Joshua Ramisch

Rejecting "waithood": Youth, masculinity, and motorcycles on the road to development in Kenya.
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 - 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
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The School of International Development and Global Studies presents as part of the Brown Bag series:

“Rejecting “waithood”: Youth, masculinity, and motorcycles on the road to development in Kenya. ”

The liberalization of the motorcycle import market in Kenya in 2010 promoted a dramatic increase in their numbers on the roads. The motorcycles, their riders, and the boda boda (cycle taxi) services they provide have become highly visible – but ambiguous – symbols of youth and marginalized male identity. Ongoing ethnographic and survey work with boda boda riders in Nairobi and coastal Kenya illustrate how this livelihood weaves together rural and urban lives, while asserting interstitial claims to the Kenyan roadscape, one of the country’s most visible symbols of modernity and development.

More crucially, their narratives contest the literature’s claims about “failed” masculinities in the context of stagnant rural development. Rather than youth stuck in a liminal “waithood” for an ever-receding social adulthood, the boda boda riders exemplify new forms of accumulation and identity-creation that are challenging older inter-generational and gender relationships in Kenya.

 

Joshua Ramisch, Ph.D

Professor, School of International Development and Global Studies, uOttawa

 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

11:30am-12:50pm

Social Sciences Building, Room FSS 4006