Embracing Uncertainty: Young People on the Move in Addis Ababa’s Inner City

  • Marco Di Nunzio
Part of the Anthropology, Change and Development book series (ACD)


This chapter discusses how young men’s understanding of the unpredictable as a ground for action and hope in inner-city Addis Ababa can inform anthropological examinations on the productivity of uncertainty. I start by narrating the biographies of three young men who, more than anybody else, taught me about the promises and the predicaments of living with uncertainty. As Cooper and Pratten have reminded us in their introduction, accounting for the messiness, the contingencies, and the multiplicities of life trajectories is not just a mere exercise of ethnographic writing. Studying biographies provides scholars with interpretative tools to consider how people translate the indeterminacy of existence into a sense of possibility and, ultimately, seek to connect what has been with what could be.


Young People Social Practice Unemployed Youth Moral Luck Life Trajectory 
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© Marco Di Nunzio 2015

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  • Marco Di Nunzio

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