Abstract:In this thesis I wish to show how the category of youth in Africa is fraught with tension, and how this affects young men. Being a group that is in many ways at risk in our contemporary moment, it becomes important to understand what is at stake for young men in African cities. For many people in Dakar, the category of youth is a social position that is perceived as a period of stagnation, that it is difficult to transcend. Therefore I wish to show how young men cope with life in an urban landscape and social reality that does not offer many possibilities. Through an analysis of the extensive pirogue migration that took place all over Senegal in the years 2005-2008/09, and the practice of Baay Fall religiosity, I will show how young men imagine alternatives in a social environment where disappointment regarding what they perceive as a malfunctioning government and an unjust global system are prevalent. Imagining takes place in an interplay between objective structure and subjective agency, and therefore the socio-political context must be reviewed in order to grasp the background for the practices that form part of this thesis, as well as the aspirations of the young men involved. In the world today, ideals of consumption and accumulation loom large, and the global narratives of success reach every corner of the world. As such, it is important to understand how young people in Dakar relate to their (imagined) participation in, or exclusion from, these pervasive, global images. In their pursuit of becoming visible and valuable, young men can be seen as creatively engaging with their predicaments in their social navigation. I will show how young men in Dakar follow usual and alternative paths in the construction of themselves as modern subjects, and how this is linked to an ongoing globalization of desires and expectations.