Communication ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 5-14-2018


Kenya is faced with a myriad of intercultural conflicts that impact youth. This study shifts attention to eleven diverse Kenyan youth leaders, to understand how they experience and respond to conflict. To collect data, I facilitated a conflict transformation and peacebuilding workshop in Meru, Kenya. I analyzed participants' written reflections and workshop discussions using a critical textual analysis. Participants identified contextual structures, such as tribalism, politics, economics, and patriarchy as enabling and constraining conflict. I also found that accounting for intersectional subject positions is important during intercultural conflict because how participants are positioned influences their capacity to respond to conflict in particular contexts. I found four themes related to agency during conflict transformation. Participants enacted or proposed enacting agency by using individual conflict management strategies, stepping into third party roles, working for institutional and social change, and using critical reflexivity. This study demonstrates that youth in Kenya hold tremendous promise for reimagining communities that are equitable, inclusive, just and responsive to intercultural conflict transformation and peacebuilding.




intercultural conflict, conflict transformation, peacebuilding, Kenya, intersectionality, agency, contextual structures, tribalism, patriarchy

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Committee Member (Chair)

Mary Jane Collier

Second Committee Member

Shinsuke Eguchi

Third Committee Member

Myra Washington

Fourth Committee Member

Nancy Lopez