Becoming “business class”: Educated youth and Pentecostal change in eastern Uganda

Stella Aguti, Sarah Amongin, Ben Jones, Jimmy Ezra Okello, Robert Oluka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our paper looks at the lives of educated young men in a Pentecostal church in eastern Uganda. The way young men conduct themselves, how they dress, how they speak in church, whether or not they are good with technology, help to define their claims to an educated identity. Youth leaders are valued for the liveliness they bring to church, for the ways they innovate in areas of praise and worship. At the same time, they are often criticised for the way they orient schemes and initiatives to their own advantage, for not being transparent and for ‘confusing’ others. We adapt Henrik Vigh’s concept of social navigation to show how educated young men become ‘political navigators’ in church. They mix ambitions for personal growth with their contributions to a modern, lively and dynamic church, and in so doing help to make it more ‘business class’.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCompare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education
Early online date29 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Feb 2024


  • Christianity
  • education
  • identity
  • politics
  • youth

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