Politics, gender and youth citizenship in Senegal: youth policing of dissent and diversity

Crossouard, Barbara and Dunne, Mairead (2015) Politics, gender and youth citizenship in Senegal: youth policing of dissent and diversity. International Review of Education, 61 (1). pp. 43-60. ISSN 0020-8566

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Abstract

This paper reports on empirical research on youth as active citizens in Senegal with specific reference to their education and their sexual and reproductive health rights. In a context of postcoloniality which claims to have privileged secular, republican understandings of the constitution, the authors seek to illuminate how youth activists sustain patriarchal, metropolitan views of citizenship and reinforce ethnic and locational (urban/rural) hierarchies. Their analysis is based on a case study of active youth citizenship, as reflected in youth engagement in the recent presidential elections in Senegal. This included involvement in youth protests against pre-election constitutional abuse and in a project monitoring the subsequent elections using digital technologies. The authors compare how youth activists enacted different notions of citizenship, in some instances involving a vigorous defence of Senegal’s democratic constitution, while in others dismissing this as being irrelevant to youth concerns. Here the authors make an analytic distinction between youth engagement in politics, seen as the public sphere of constitutional democracy, and the political, which they relate to the inherently conflictual and agonistic processes through which (youth) identities are policed, in ways which may legitimate or marginalise. Despite the frequent construction of youth as being agents of change, this analysis shows how potentially productive and open spaces for active citizenship were drawn towards conformity and the reproduction of existing hegemonies, in particular through patriarchal gender relations and sexual norms within which female youth remained particularly vulnerable.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Citizenship Youth Politics Gender Sexuality Human rights
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: H Social Sciences
L Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC0065 Social aspects of education
Depositing User: Pascale Fanning-Tichborne
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2015 16:40
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 08:07
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/53146

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