An Existential Anthropological Study of Selfhood, Uncertainty and Resilience Among Youth of Tando Ghulam Ali, Sindh

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Ali Taqui Shah
Abdul Razaque Channa – Ph.D.
Syed Faisal Hyder Shah

Abstract

This study combines three orientations, namely existential thought about the meaning of ‘being’ and ‘existence,’ phenomenological insights into ‘lived experience,’ and anthropological endeavor at what it means to be human. It attempts to focus on the human conditions by directly engaging with human beings. Specifically guiding itself with the questions such as how young people engage in the meaning-making of their lived experiences in their life course’s ever-changing process. Taking its theoretical insights and inspiration from existential and phenomenological anthropology, by zooming in on lived experiences, the research was conducted using life story interviews to collect the narratives to gain understandings into the life-worlds as it is lived and made sense of by young people of Tando Ghulam Ali, a rural town of District Badin, Sindh. Based on the ethnographic data and observations, it is argued that the meaning-making of lived experiences was different among research participants with a strong presence of selfhood and self-consciousness temporally and affectively; the difference in orientation towards life is entangled with personal history as well. This research went beyond the horizons of culture and society to put existence, life, and being, which are silhouetted at meta-level, at the heart of anthropological focus. This research is an experimental research project in anthropology, which has attempted to step its foot into the human condition's terra incognita, which calls for anthropologists’ further exploration.

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