Between town and country: Shifting identity and migrant youth in Uganda

Barratt, Caroline, Mbonye, Martin and Seeley, Janet (2012) Between town and country: Shifting identity and migrant youth in Uganda. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 50 (02). pp. 201-223. ISSN 1469-7777

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In Uganda, as in many other African countries, increasing numbers of 15–24 year olds are migrating to urban areas to look for work and educational opportunities. We explore the shifting sense of identity amongst youth migrants in Uganda as they struggle to reconcile the differences in social norms between the rural settings in which they are brought up and the urban environment in which they now live. The experience of migration significantly impacts on the transition from youths to adults by influencing their perception of their own identity as well as the expectations of society. Young people often hold conflicting views of their rural and urban experiences, suggesting that understanding rural and urban realities as distinct entities does not reflect the complex relationship, and possible confusion, of the migrant experience. In contrast to existing literature on migrant identities, which has tended to focus on the identity shift experienced by adult transnational migrants, this reveals the particular challenges faced by youth migrants whose adult self is not yet formed.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: Julie Frith
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2012 13:10
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2023 10:30
DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X1200002X

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