Generations and Access to Land in Postconflict Northern Uganda: “Youth Have No Voice in Land Matters”
Professor of Anthropology Susan Reynolds Whyte has contributed to the African Studies Review with the article 'Generations and access to land in post conflict northern Uganda: "Youth have no voice in land matters"' in which she explores conflicts about land in northern Uganda.
Generational tensions are one of the many forms that land conflicts take in northern Uganda. The convention in Acholiland was that young men gained land-use rights through their fathers and young women gained them through their husbands. This pattern of generational governance has become complicated in the wake of the civil war and decades of internment in IDP camps. Lacking husbands, young women are using land of their patrilateral kin, while young men who grew up with their mothers may use that of their matrilateral relatives. The article is based on fieldwork in the Acholi subregion between 2014 and 2016, and explores classic anthropological concerns about gerontocracy and patriliny in a contemporary postconflict situation. Susan Whyte describes the discreet land access strategies of young men and women and the ways in which they seek to complement dependence on relatives by renting or buying land. The image of the “war generation” as morally spoiled is countered by an examination of the consequences of war and internment for young people’s claims to use land.
Susan Reynolds Whyte, Generations and Access to Land in Postconflict Northern Uganda: “Youth Have No Voice in Land Matters,” African Studies Review, Volume 60, Issue 3, November 2017.