Crisis as opportunity: Youth, social media and the renegotiation of power in Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper conceptualises ‘global financial crisis’ as primarily political and focuses on the way it impacts on the ability of youth to renegotiate their place and space with patterns of authority and control in Africa, using the instrumentality of new media. Three main arguments are made. First is that, even though the crisis occurred within the economy, non-economic causal factors were key triggers. Second, the intersection between youth protest, the pressures of a global system in crisis and the opportunities being provided by globalised social media has been critical not only to the deepening of resistance, but also to the ability of youth to appropriate the discourses and channel grievance. Third, youth appropriation of protest discourses surrounding the pressures of the recent global crisis has forced a renegotiation of patterns of authority and control and is deepening stability challenges in different ways. This paper concludes by examining how the state has responded to this emerging youth ability to not only demand but also impose discourses within the public space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1054-1068
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Volume16
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2013

Keywords

  • crisis
  • youth
  • social media
  • power
  • Africa

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