» Archive for: September, 2014

Are you an MA student and interested in studying young people’s trajectories into farming in India? Then, check this out:

Becoming a young farmer
Funded field research opportunity

Students currently enrolled in a Masters’ program are invited to undertake empirical research on young people’s trajectories into farming in India. The global phenomenon of an ageing farming population, poor returns on farming in the current economic paradigm and an apparent lack of interest among youth in agrarian and rural futures have attracted considerable attention among policy makers and researchers. At the same time, what is overlooked is that not all young people leave farming and the countryside, and some urban youth establish themselves as first-generation urban or rural farmers. By studying young people’s trajectories into farming futures we aim to fill an important void in current work on rural youth and agrarian studies and in policies related to rural poverty reduction and employment generation. First, the research studies will go beyond documenting the various barriers that keep young people from establishing agrarian futures to examining how at least some young people manage to overcome these. Second, they will assess the working of intergenerational dynamics underpinning trajectories into farming, ranging from inheritance to the intergenerational transfer of knowledge. Third, they will shed light on generational innovation in farming practices across the globe. Gender will be treated as a key relation of social differentiation shaping all three areas of inquiry.

Up to $3000 will be provided for two graduate students to undertake field research in India. Students will have the opportunity to interact with other researchers, to present in seminars/ workshops, and to publish in a peer-reviewed journal. Funding will be distributed on a competitive basis and selection will be based on submitted research proposals. The individual funds will be released in three installments. The first, following the submission of a detailed fieldwork plan and ethics approval; the second, following the submission of a report summarizing the research findings; and the final, following the submission of a substantial output (thesis, research paper). The funds will be allocated between March 2015 and June 2016.

Interested students please send a CV and a 1000-word research proposal (consisting of research objective, questions, data collection methods, budget and time table) to Dr.Sharada Srinivasan, University of Guelph, sharada@uoguelph.ca by 20 October 2014.


Category: CYS specialisation| education| research

17 Sep 2014

downloadNext week the 2013-14 cohort of ISS students present their research paper drafts. The titles suggest an exciting week with many students working on interesting children and youth related topics.

The International Institute of Social Studies in the Hague, the Netherlands offers, among other things, a 15.5 months MA programme in Development Studies. A unique feature of the ISS course offering is that it includes a number of elective courses that specifically focus on questions pertaining children and youth in contexts of development. In addition, other courses integrate a generational perspective that highlight the specific position of children and youth (as well as older people) as a critique to the adult-centric perspective that dominates much development studies.

The 2013-14 students started their programme in September 2013 and finished their course work in June 2014. The summer months were dedicated to individual research projects, often involving primary data collection in countries in the South. Next week students present a first analysis of their material in their research paper draft seminars. Each student has a full hour, which starts with a short presentation followed by feedback from peer-discussants, the supervisory team and other students.

Looking at the titles we have an interesting week ahead of us:

‘The Effects of Cross-border Violence on Uganda Children and Young adult between age 15-24 in Kasese District of Rwenzori Region: The coping strategy for survival’ by Mabel Kabatalya.

“How Are You All Doing?”: Exploring the life experiences and struggles of young generation of South Korea through “narrativization” by Min Jee Park

‘Youth School to Work Transition Experiences in Urban Ethiopia: In the lens of Unemployed and Jobless Youth Experiences’ by Beshir Butta Dale

‘Mothering Fathers?  Fathers’ New “Care” Identity and Navigating the Health Needs of their Children’ by Maurene Ann Donato Papa

‘Migrant Boys and Their Work on Streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’ by Degwale Gebeyehu Belay

‘The Social Impact of the Zimbabwean Crisis: The Case Study of Access and Quality of Education for Rural Secondary School Children’ by Samuel Kapingidza

‘Diverse experiences of teenage pregnancy in Monterrey, Mexico’ by Brenda Janett Rodriguez Cortes

‘Gender Barriers to Policy formulation and Re-entry Policy for pregnant teenagers in Ghana: Examining the silence discourses ‘ by  Yenutien Kombian

‘Responsibility of the State and parents: Child maintenance claims administered in the parallel Kadhi Court system in Zanzibar’ by Sheikha Mohamed Ramia.

‘The Difficulties of Ending FGM: Case of Afar Pastoralist Communities in Ethiopia’ by Masresha Yazew Andarge

‘Societal stigmatization and prejudice: A challenge to the survival of street children in Kampala city of Uganda’, by Annet Najjuma.

‘Eternal Outsiders? Social Exclusion and the Rights of Children with Albinism in Kenya’, by Irene Katunge Nyamu.

‘Troubling Paradox: Gaps between Policy and Reality; Child Poverty and Wellbeing in India’, by Pranab Kumar Chanda

‘Universal Primary Education under Decentralization: An asset or liability to rural schools and communities of Uganda?’ by Agnes Kawala

‘Examining the Dichotomies of Social Protection:   Is the South African Child Support Grant alleviating poverty or perpetuating dependency?’ by Zanele Silo

‘Urban poverty and social protection; Ideal versus reality in the intervention strategies. A Case study of Kazi kwa Vijana (Work for Youth) in Kenyan slums’, by Dominic Ngumbi Mutuku

‘Exploring the Phenomenon of Child-adult partnership for street begging in Tamale, Ghana’, by Wedadu Sayibu.

posted by Roy Huijsmans


studying_SEA_comics-940x400Development studies and practice has a tendency to represent large parts of the world as places of poverty, misery and underdevelopment. In this regard, a look at the creative industry works as a useful corrective. It brings to the forefront the dynamic and creative dimension that is also part and parcel of the so-called ‘developing world’, and at times sheds an interesting light on questions of development.

The Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia presents a special issue entitled ‘Studying Comics from Southeast Asia’. As Jacqueline Berndt observes in her introductory essay:

…research on comics cultures is dominated by the comparison between North America, Western Europe and Japan, occasionally including Korea and also the Chinese-language markets, in particular with respect to manga. 

A focus on comics from Southeast Asia is thus much welcomed and the issue provides a useful introduction to the world of comics in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

From a youth studies perspective I would have liked to see more about the consumers of comics and the role of comics in youth sub-cultures. The contribution about Vietnam by Nguyen Hong Phuc goes someway into such a direction where it discusses the controversy around the picture book Sát Thủ Đầu Mưng Mủ by the Vietnamese artist Nguyen Thanh Phong. The book recreates Vietnamese proverbs and includes new slang which it does through a total of 120 drawings that are each accompanied by a short caption playing on common informal Vietnamese idioms. Nguyen Hong Phuc illustrates this with the following example:

…the traditional Vietnamese saying “when a horse is sick, the whole stable refuses grass”, which means “love people like loving oneself”, was revised to “when a horse is sick, the whole stable can eat more grass” which implies a degree of selfishness and uncaring for others. 

Although such creative use of language received considerable critique leading to a halt on the publication of the book, it also received support. Nguyen Hong Phuc reports that in a debate organised at the French Cultural Centre in Hanoi (in 2012) on ‘the language of youths in the internet age’ many youth voiced their support for Nguyen Thanh Phong’s work. Importantly, some Vietnamese scholars took side with these youth by pointing out that:

new ways of playing around with Vietnamese words and re-creating idoms were innovative since the official Vietnamese language could not reflect such expressions well enough, thus, it created new value from the old

Perhaps, then, development studies scholars have much to learn from reading comics as it arguably captures people’s experiences and perceptions of socio-economic change much more aptly than any large scale survey on such matters.

posted by Roy Huijsmans


International Institute of Social Studies

ISS is an international graduate school of policy-oriented critical social science. It brings together students and teachers from the Global South and the North in a European environment.