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Stuck: Rwandan Youth and the Struggle for Adulthood (Studies in Security and International Affairs)


Stuck: Rwandan Youth and the Struggle for Adulthood (Studies in Security and International Affairs) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Young people are transforming the global landscape. As the human popu­lation today is younger and more urban than ever before, prospects for achieving adulthood dwindle while urban migration soars. Devastated by genocide, hailed as a spectacular success, and critiqued for its human rights record, the Central African nation of Rwanda provides a compelling setting for grasping new challenges to the world’s youth.

Spotlighting failed masculinity, urban desperation, and forceful governance, Marc Sommers tells the dramatic story of young Rwandans who are “stuck,” striving against near-impossible odds to become adults. In Rwandan culture, female youth must wait, often in vain, for male youth to build a house before they can marry. Only then can male and female youth gain acceptance as adults. However, Rwanda’s severe housing crisis means that most male youth are on a treadmill toward failure, unable to build their house yet having no choice but to try. What follows is too often tragic. Rural youth face a future as failed adults, while many who migrate to the capital fail to secure a stable life and turn fatalistic about contracting HIV/AIDS.

Featuring insightful interviews with youth, adults, and government officials, Stuck tells the story of an ambitious, controlling government trying to gov­ern an exceptionally young and poor population in a densely populated and rapidly urbanizing country. This pioneering book sheds new light on the struggle to come of age and suggests new pathways toward the attainment of security, development, and coexistence in Africa and beyond.

Published in association with the United States Institute of Peace

Book News Annotation:

Coming of age in a traditional way in Rwanda is hindered by young males' inability to build a house and then marry--and the consequences of this stifled ambition are devastating. This book is published in association with the United States Institute of Peace, where Sommers was affiliated in 2009-10; he's currently a visiting researcher with Boston University's African Studies Center. He draws on interviews with young people, adults, and government officials to delineate various facets of social, cultural, and economic life, and the threat to security of current conditions. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Marc Sommers is an internationally recognized youth expert and a visiting researcher with Boston University’s African Studies Center. Sommers is a 2011–2012 Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and was a USIP Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow in 2009–2010. He is the author of six previous books including Islands of Education: Schooling, Civil War, and the Southern Sudanese (1983–2004) and Fear in Bongoland: Burundi Refugees in Urban Tanzania, which received the Margaret Mead Award in 2003.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

List of Boxes and Tables xiii

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xxi

Part I .

Product Details

Sommers, Marc
University of Georgia Press
International Relations
Politics-United States Foreign Policy
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Studies in Security and International Affairs
Publication Date:
18 b&w photos, 2 maps, 9 tables
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Africa » Rwanda and Burundi
History and Social Science » Politics » Human Rights
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Sociology » Children and Family

Stuck: Rwandan Youth and the Struggle for Adulthood (Studies in Security and International Affairs) New Trade Paper
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