Youth poverty in the Dominican republic: the dis-empowered next generation
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This qualitative case study reveals crucial insights on youth poverty in two communities in the Dominican Republic. Young people are caught in a vicious cycle of poverty, dis-empowerment and risky behavior. They are politically neglected, socially and economically marginalized. The structure and the nature of accessible opportunities shape the platform on which young people can develop themselves. The personal agency of a young person is closely linked to the available opportunity structure; both elements can weaken or strengthen each other and as result they can ‘produce’ youth at-risk or change agents. Sound agencies can overcome failures in the opportunity structure, but informal and formal institutions need to recognize and to support the young generation. Youth living in poverty is often overburdened when combining work and education already in young age. The scarcity of resources can push young people into unsustainable and dangerous survival strategies, catalyzing the establishment of criminal and violent neighborhoods, and furthering the negative development trends in the country. Yet, synergetic empowerment strategies can mitigate the loss of potential change agents.
Master thesis in development management- University of Agder, 2012