Marrying Up: Forced Displacement and Youth Employment in the Aftermath of the Congo War: From making a living to making a life
This paper tries to offer an indication of what it means to be young, displaced and looking for a job in a war-affected town of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Starting off as a sociological survey into the livelihoods of young displaced migrants in the city of Butembo, it subsequently integrates more critical views on the life making perspectives of these African youngsters, who appear to be affected as much by problems of daily survival as by a lack of access to decent jobs. The high entry gates these youngsters face in their quest for a decent living not only illustrates the explicitly political nature of Butembo’s job market in the aftermath of war, but also supports the claim that stories of daily survival and political categorization/marginalization remain inherently connected. The fact that this connection is often explicitly made in these youngsters’ imagination about a better life forces us to rethink critically the relationship between armed violence, livelihoods and economic markets in the aftermath of protracted conflicts.
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