Male youth, gender, and development: Lived experiences of male youth in the context of change in Ahmedabad, India.
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Men and their lived experiences are frequently missing from gender and development policy, or are only portrayed as oppressive. Youth are currently a vital demographic in the Global South, with many states experiencing a ‘youth bulge’. This research aims to understand the effects of social and economic change on male youth, and how this can be useful in improving future gender policy as well as addressing issues such as educated un- and underemployment. The research was conducted in Ahmedabad, India, through in-depth interviews with young men who are involved in the youth programmes of local NGO, Saath. It would appear that with societal changes have come local crises of masculinity as a result of a changing labour market, infrastructural development, and shifting societal values. Gender roles remain static, as do most opinions regarding them. Entrepreneurialism amongst male youth as well as non-violent actions in response to their changing situations suggest that they do not follow conventional notions of how ‘disaffected’ young men assert their masculinity in times of crisis.