YOUTH OFF-FARM SOCIAL ACTIVITIES AND PASTIMES, DEVIANCE AND ATTITUDE TOWARDS VIOLENCE IN MBANGA AND DOUALA IV MUNICIPALITIES: IMPLICATIONS FOR RADICALIZATION PREVENTION IN CAMEROON
By: Tchakounte Yimga Ines, Ndive Junior Henry Lyonga, Ade Bervile Ade, Mba Endam, Mandengue Anne-Marie and Nna Lydie Leonelle | Department of Development Studies | Gender, Migration and Refugee Studies
Youths have been at the forefront of violent political and anti-establishment contestations throughout Cameroon’s checkered political history. The present study was conducted to assess the interactions between youth off-farm social activities and pastimes, deviant behaviors, attitudes towards violence and the implication for radicalization prevention in Mbanga and Douala IV municipalities. Specifically, the study (a) assessed the types and prevalence of youth off-farm social activities and pastimes, (b) assessed youth deviant behaviors and attitudes towards violence and (c) the correlation between youth off-farm social activities and deviant behaviors and attitudes towards violence. The study adopted a cross-sectional descriptive survey design. Data was collected primarily through a questionnaire survey of 674 systematically selected respondents from 14 Enumeration Areas (EAs) in Mbanga and Douala IV municipalities. The data were subjected to exploratory, descriptive, inferential and principal component reduction analyses using SPSS 22. The study found out that sports (42.3%), watching TV (41.1%), hanging out in snacks, bars and pubs (38.4%), gambling (38.4%), internet and social media usage (25.9%), listening to music (18.9%) and watching movies (18.9%) were the most dominant off-farm social activities and pastimes among youths. The study also found out that alcohol consumption (68.7%), premarital sex (64.5%), viewing of pornographic content (61.5%), smoking (46.1%), hard drug use (37.8%), truancy (37.8%) and gambling (36.2%) were the most prevalent deviant behaviors among youths. Generally, youths displayed a negative attitude towards violence, with high pro-violence culture score (Mean score=3.9; SD=0.516), low score for remorse for violent crimes (Mean Score=1.84; SD=0.458) and low scores for value for life (Mean score=2.05; SD=0.124). Finally, the study found out that youths who hang out in bars, pubs or snacks in their pastimes were more prone to engage in deviant acts such as hard drug use (r=0.6), arm robbery (r=0.6), alcohol consumption (r=0.9), smoking (r=0.8), prostitution (r=0.8), scamming (r=0.6), fighting (0.6) and gambling (r=0.8) while those whose pastimes were devoted to watching TV or playing video games were found to be more likely to be involved in fights (r=0.6). The study concluded that youth pastimes activities makes them susceptible for indulging in deviant acts and developing violent attitudes which makes them prone for radicalization. On the bases of the foregoing the study proposes a theory of change and recommendation for the prevention of youth radicalization in those areas
Key words: Off-farm activities, Pastimes, Deviance, Violent attitudes, Radicalization, Youths.