The rocky road to success - Social and physical (im)mobility of young men in rural Ethiopia
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The lives of young men in rural Ethiopia are often characterized by social and physical immobility. Many young men struggle to become independent adults as they are unable to attain social markers attributed to adulthood, such as steady employment and marriage (Prothmann 2019). As such these men often find themselves in a position of waithood: an involuntary position of prolonged adolescence (Honwana 2012). With meager opportunities to overcome this position, they face existential immobility: the feeling of going nowhere in life (Hage 2009). At the same time these young men encounter physical immobility as they live often involuntary as well in a rural area that lacks infrastructure and is thus poorly connected to nearby urban areas. This research describes how these young men in waithood live their lives in search of a way to get ahead in life.