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Remembering, living and hoping for 'the good life'. Spirituality of youth that live on the streets in Nairobi.

Eriksson, Sanna LU (2018) KRMM74 20171
Centre for Theology and Religious Studies
Abstract
Striving to contribute to research on child- and youth spirituality and African theology with a
contextually grounded, non-western, qualitative youth perspective, the aim of this study is to
seek an understanding of the spirituality of male youth that live on the streets in Nairobi. To
fulfil this aim, the research task carried out is an analysis of the source material from six focus
group interviews with 27 research participants (14-34 years old). Given instructions, the
research participants painted drawings that were used as base for discussions, thus drawings
and transcribed speech constitute the source material. This is analysed with a model for
picture analysis based on semiotics, tools for text analysis by Norman Fairclough... (More)
Striving to contribute to research on child- and youth spirituality and African theology with a
contextually grounded, non-western, qualitative youth perspective, the aim of this study is to
seek an understanding of the spirituality of male youth that live on the streets in Nairobi. To
fulfil this aim, the research task carried out is an analysis of the source material from six focus
group interviews with 27 research participants (14-34 years old). Given instructions, the
research participants painted drawings that were used as base for discussions, thus drawings
and transcribed speech constitute the source material. This is analysed with a model for
picture analysis based on semiotics, tools for text analysis by Norman Fairclough and content
analysis, and reflected in a theological, philosophical, and contextual theoretical framework,
that perceives ‘the good life’, elaborated by Tanzanian theologian Laurenti Magesa, as the
centre of African spirituality.

The research participants’ spirituality is found to be relational, with an ethical
focus, connected to material aspects, and with a holistic spectrum of time. The source material
relates strongly to the understanding of ‘the good life’ in African spirituality and connects to
characteristics of Christianity and Rastafarianism. ‘The good life’ is created in relationships to
friends, parents, organizations, and churches where community is experienced through good
actions of generosity, self-sacrifice, and sharing. Prayer sometimes characterizes the
relationship to God, while on other occasions, God, church, and organization staff encourage
a change of character. Material aspects create ‘the good life’, in practical mutual dependence
among friends, and from organizations and churches, and in wishes for future improved
material and social conditions; including a home for comfort. The wish for mobility and
financial success portrayed by a car reflects the surrounding Nairobi context, rather than ‘the
good life’ in African spirituality. The aim of the majority of wishes for the future is creation
of ‘the good life’ in communities of friends or family. Remembering ‘the good life’ with
parents in the past, living ‘the good life’ in the present despite difficulties, and hoping for ‘the
good life’ in the future, are all identified as currently important, and the research participants’
strong focus on the future arguments for its importance in their spirituality. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Eriksson, Sanna LU
supervisor
organization
course
KRMM74 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
the good life, spirituality, theology, street, youth, Kenya.
language
English
id
8942976
date added to LUP
2018-05-29 09:57:09
date last changed
2018-05-29 09:57:09
@misc{8942976,
  abstract     = {Striving to contribute to research on child- and youth spirituality and African theology with a
contextually grounded, non-western, qualitative youth perspective, the aim of this study is to
seek an understanding of the spirituality of male youth that live on the streets in Nairobi. To
fulfil this aim, the research task carried out is an analysis of the source material from six focus
group interviews with 27 research participants (14-34 years old). Given instructions, the
research participants painted drawings that were used as base for discussions, thus drawings
and transcribed speech constitute the source material. This is analysed with a model for
picture analysis based on semiotics, tools for text analysis by Norman Fairclough and content
analysis, and reflected in a theological, philosophical, and contextual theoretical framework,
that perceives ‘the good life’, elaborated by Tanzanian theologian Laurenti Magesa, as the
centre of African spirituality.

The research participants’ spirituality is found to be relational, with an ethical
focus, connected to material aspects, and with a holistic spectrum of time. The source material
relates strongly to the understanding of ‘the good life’ in African spirituality and connects to
characteristics of Christianity and Rastafarianism. ‘The good life’ is created in relationships to
friends, parents, organizations, and churches where community is experienced through good
actions of generosity, self-sacrifice, and sharing. Prayer sometimes characterizes the
relationship to God, while on other occasions, God, church, and organization staff encourage
a change of character. Material aspects create ‘the good life’, in practical mutual dependence
among friends, and from organizations and churches, and in wishes for future improved
material and social conditions; including a home for comfort. The wish for mobility and
financial success portrayed by a car reflects the surrounding Nairobi context, rather than ‘the
good life’ in African spirituality. The aim of the majority of wishes for the future is creation
of ‘the good life’ in communities of friends or family. Remembering ‘the good life’ with
parents in the past, living ‘the good life’ in the present despite difficulties, and hoping for ‘the
good life’ in the future, are all identified as currently important, and the research participants’
strong focus on the future arguments for its importance in their spirituality.},
  author       = {Eriksson, Sanna},
  keyword      = {the good life,spirituality,theology,street,youth,Kenya.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Remembering, living and hoping for 'the good life'. Spirituality of youth that live on the streets in Nairobi.},
  year         = {2018},
}