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Past Featured Event

Seminar: 'Exploring media and communication ecologies amongst youth in Rift Valley, Kenya: Negotiating identities, social relations and life aspirations’

Speaker: Professor Thomas Tufte, Professor in Communication Studies, Department of Communication, Business and Information, Roskilde University, Denmark

Abstract:  Through the combined attention to the diachronic and synchronic dimensions of media use and communication practices in everyday life, this presentation explores how cultural imaginaries, social practices and media uses weave a terrain of constraints and possibilities within which young Kenyans formulate their aspirations for life and act upon.

Sub-Saharan Africa has in recent years experienced a strong media development, particularly the rapid spread of mobile phones and increased internet access. This is interlinked with dramatic processes of urbanization, varying degrees of economic growth and political transformation. In this context, people are resisting, negotiating and adapting to and in various ways influencing the processes of societal change. Given this situation of dynamic and complex social change, social scientists are increasingly using media ethnographic inquiry to explore the relations between culture, communication and social change. Using life history interviews and focus group discussions, complemented by participant observation this case study explores the life course developments of men in late adolescence from both rural and urban areas. The study is contextualized within survey data from a household survey covering the same areas these young men come from (2014).

Biography: Thomas Tufte is professor in communication at Roskilde University (2004-), co-founder and co-director of the bi-national research centre Orecomm – Centre for Communication and Glocal Change. Professor Tufte also serves as senior research associate to University of Johannesburg, South Africa (2013-). He has been a visiting scholar at University of Cadiz (Spain) 2012, Rhodes University (South Africa), 2002. He also served as UNESCO Chair of Communication at Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona in the spring semester of 2003. He currently directs the international research project Critical Perspectives on New Media and Processes of Social Change in the Global South (2013-2017) focusing on Kenya, and recently also directed People Speaking Back? Media, Empowerment and Democracy in East Africa (2009-2015) focusing on Tanzania and Kenya. From September 1st Professor Tufte will join University of Leicester as a chair in media and communication.

This event is part of a seminar series:

Seminar Series: ‘Navigating life in sub-Saharan Africa – adolescent socio-ecologies’

Trinity Term 2016 Seminar Series ‘Navigating life in sub-Saharan Africa – adolescent socio-ecologies’ Thursdays at 14:00 – 15:30 Seminar Room: 66 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6PR Convener: Dr Jaco Hoffman, Senior Research Fellow   Core values for many in Africa are related to system variables beyond the level of the individual: the family, intergenera...

Event Details

19 May 2016 14:00 - 15:30