Learning on the Streets. Youth and vending in urban Zimbabwe

IDS Research fellow Marjoke Oosterom has won an ESRC New Investigators grant to do research on youth and political socialization in the informal economy. Research partners are Tinotenda Chishiri (RAU), Dr. Rekopantswe Mate (University of Zimbabwe) and Simbarashe Gukurume (Great Zimbabwe University).  Existing scholarship on political socialisation has predominantly generated knowledge on ‘socialisation mechanisms’ in Western settings; about the role of family, peers, schooling and civic associations for developing mainly civic forms of behaviour. Research in Africa has, however, mainly looked at the socialisation of violent youth, in/into gangs and violent extremism. The proposed project will fill an important gap in knowledge by developing a new conceptual framework for studying political socialisation for contexts where the conventional models may not apply. As many African, urban youth work in the informal economy, this study will study the networks of the informal economy as sites for political socialisation. The study will be carried out in Zimbabwe, where many unemployed youth in cities work as informal vendors, often organised in networks. This will be a qualitative study in Harare and Bulawayo and will last from 2019 to 2021.

Key contacts

About this project



Katy Miller

Project Accountant

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Katy Oswald

Research Officer

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Marjoke Oosterom

Research Fellow

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Martin Gardner

Project Support Officer

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Shandana Khan Mohmand

Cluster leader and Research Fellow

Simbarashe Gukurume
Tinotenda Chishiri
Rekopantswe Mate