Nora Julien, MA


Nora earned a BA in Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Fribourg in 2007. She completed the MA in African Studies at the University of Basel in 2012 with a special interest in Development Studies, Political Sociology, and Discourse Analysis. For her MA thesis, she did a 3-month internship with the Femina Health Information Project HIP in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where she also collected the fieldwork data. She successfully completed her MA analysing the image of youth represented in the project’s youth Fema Magazine from a critical discourse analysis perspective.

Nora is currently working as a project assistant with Bicycles for Africa, a Swiss non-profit project promoting social and professional integration, ecologically sustainable mobility, and international economic cooperation in Switzerland and six African countries. While gaining professional experience in project management, logistics and international networking, she enjoys supporting a sustainable, comprehensive, and meaningful approach to International Cooperation. Her diverse career has instilled her with profound research and analytical skills, intercultural competencies as well as a distinct sense and concern for global (power) relations.

Aiming at further developing these professional strengths and interests, Nora is applying for PhD project funding, which would allow her to do research on Resource Boom and politics in Mozambique.

MA Thesis

Das Bild der Jugend des Femina Health Information Projects HIP in Dar es Salaam, Tansania. Eine diskursanalytische Untersuchung der 'Fema' Jugen- und Aufklärungszeitschriftenproduktion

In the 1980ies, the debate over the ‘development project’ was initiated, increasingly criticising dominant development cooperation’s motives, practices, and discourses. Against this background, this MA thesis looks at a youth development project’s construction of the image of youth. Some of the critics – post-development representatives like Arturo Escobar (1995) – have been calling for questioning and a critical deconstruction of the dominant development discourse dividing the world into evolutionist and western shaped categories. In the cause of such a deconstructive perspective, this thesis aims at critically analysing the particular discourse which is being (re)produced by the Femina Health Information Project in Tanzania through its Fema youth magazine.The leading question is: What is the magazine’s editorial department’s underlying image of youth? Recordings of editorial staff’s meetings, individual interviews as well as several Fema Magazine issues provide the data set for a Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (Keller, 2011). The deconstruction of discourse analysis relevant elements such as Deutungsmuster, Story Lines, Actors, Phänomenstruktur showed that the discourse’s defining key element is a social critique directed both at Tanzanian society, politics, and structural shortcomings as well as at youth themselves.

Looking at these findings in the context of post-development criticism, it becomes apparent how the contested global ‘development project’ and its categories affect and shape the Fema Magazine production. Moreover, given the historical context of their emergence and definition, it becomes clear that a critical investigation of (re)produced representations and constructions of reality is crucial particularly in the very field of Development Cooperation.