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Youth Coping Strategies Resulting from the Niger Delta Oil Crisis

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Title: Youth Coping Strategies Resulting from the Niger Delta Oil Crisis
Author: Rita, Wiwa
Department: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Program: Sociology
Advisor: Leach, Belinda
Abstract: This thesis examines the survival strategies of youths living in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria amidst the deteriorating environmental, social and political conditions of the region. This study provides a historical background of oil exploration in Nigeria, using the Niger Delta as a vivid example of how an abundance of oil does not guarantee the overall well being of a nation. In addition, this thesis examines the roles played by youths and youth organisations, and the strategies they employ to ensure their survival, within the dynamics of environmental activism in the post-independent Niger Delta. Using semi-structured interviews and participant observation, it was discovered that, despite the volatility of the Niger Delta region, the youths devise spontaneous and long-term survival strategies that help them cope in the face of violence and poverty. During the course of this research, it was discovered that spontaneous strategies were developed to aid day-to-day survival, while long-term survival strategies embody the hope for personal and societal changes that would alleviate the conditions of environmental degradation, poverty and violence in the Niger Delta region. This thesis argues that, due to the nature of violence in the Niger Delta, youths develop spontaneous and long-term coping strategies in order to survive in their environment.
Date: 2014-01
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