The spatial construction of young people's livelihoods in rural southern Africa

Nicola Ansell, Lorraine van Blerk, Elsbeth Robson, Flora Hajdu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Young people in southern Africa, in common with young people around the world, are social agents, constructing their own lives, albeit within significant structural constraints. Unlike young people in some regions, for most the need to generate a livelihood is a key consideration. Livelihood construction is a profoundly spatial activity, yet while there have been a number of studies of the spatial construction of young people's livelihoods in African cities, the spatiality of rural livelihoods has received less attention. Rural environments pose particular challenges for livelihood construction, and require particular spatial strategies. Four are discussed here: accessing education and training; migration for work; developing extensive social networks; and producing for markets. There are, however, aspects of the spatial structuring of rural southern African societies that seriously constrain the pursuit of productive livelihoods by young people. Two are considered: migration (for reasons unconnected with young people's livelihoods) and marriage practices.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135-140
    Number of pages6
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Earth-Surface Processes


    Dive into the research topics of 'The spatial construction of young people's livelihoods in rural southern Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this