Inge Ligtvoet is secretary and a PhD student at the Institute for History.
Monday to Thursday. Visit the secretariat of the Institute for History for more information.
Inge is working as a PhD student in the research programme Connecting in Times of Duress, on a sub-project that focuses on urban (middle class) youth in southern Nigeria. The project, provisionally entitled ‘Between expectations and opportunities: urban youth navigating duress in a globalized southern Nigeria’ looks at the ways in which these youth navigate their lives in a context of long-term socioeconomic uncertainty and political insecurity. Key to understanding this navigation, is the (global) connectedness of these young Nigerians through local networks and global connectivity, through ‘old’ and new ICTs. Being increasingly connected means changing expectations, but also changing opportunities. In a context of duress, where the state is absent in providing basic needs, security and infrastructure, and where traditional and modern expectations collide, Nigerian youth has to creatively adopt ways of securing (improved) futures for themselves and their families. They are using their online and offline networks in inventive ways to work themselves up the social ladder.
Mobile internet and the social media play an important role, not only in the ways in which youth use them to their future advantage practically. It’s also arguably essential for young Nigerians to inform themselves about and resist and cope with uncertainty and insecurity in the country: a crucial aspect in dealing with the complexity of everyday life in urban centers in Nigeria’s south. Religion and humor are examples of discourses through which duress is emotionally digested and which arguably grasp the soul of long-term endurance of societal uncertainties. This research argues that these media and these discourses on duress shape youth’s decision-making in contemporary southern Nigeria in new, inventive ways.
Inge Ligtvoet studied Languages and Cultures of Africa (BA) at Leiden University and holds an MA (research) in African Studies from the same university. Her MA thesis Fear and Faith: Uncertainty, misfortune and spiritual insecurity in Calabar, Nigeria addresses the phenomenon of witchcraft in the context of a society that is confronted with sociopolitical uncertainties and fear. One of the main areas of study in this thesis was the Pentecostal church that arguably uses witchcraft discourse to manage and perpetuate societal (spiritual) unrest.
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- Institute for History
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