Laufende Forschungen

Ausgabe 20

Constructing the future

Hope and «la chance» amongst university graduates in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Bamako, Mali

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Maike Birzle, Susann Ludwig

The end of university studies always coincides with decisions and uncertainties about what is going to happen next. Having just experienced this ourselves, we had the chance to participate in the project «Construire son Avenir – self-concepts and life course construction among university graduates in Mali and Burkina Faso» located at the Centre for African Studies in Basel. This project aims to describe the life world experiences of young university graduates who are affected by uncertainty, and to find out how individuals act in order to be able to act (Macamo 2008). Both anthropology PhD-projects described here are situated within this framework. Maike Birzle is following Burkinabé graduates and their notion of hope, while Susann Ludwig immersed herself in the Malian context and traces «la chance» amongst young academics. The objective of both studies is to contribute to the broader field of risk and uncertainty studies as well as to research in social sciences on time, future and life-courses.