Growing up and global austerity: Comparing youth opportunities, aspirations and civic values around the world

LLAKES Research Conference, 27-28 June 2016

This event has been supported generously by the The Sociological Review Foundation

This event aims to bring together youth researchers to examine if youth opportunities and civic values are evolving in different ways in different parts of the world. It is widely acknowledged that young people have been amongst the hardest hit by the global economic crisis and the subsequent austerity measures that many states instituted. Yet we also know that the challenges that young people experience are not necessarily temporary or crisis-driven; youth opportunities, aspirations and values are also being affected by the changes that have been taking place in our social, economic and civic structures over the past three decades. Combined, these twin challenges mean that for many young people the transition to adulthood has not simply been delayed; it has been fundamentally disrupted.

Against this backdrop, and through a series of inter-disciplinary and empirical research papers, this event will address key questions such as: what does it mean to “grow up” in a time of increasing insecurity and austerity? How are youth opportunities and expectations being changed and challenged by these developments? What impact are these changing opportunities having on youth civic values? And perhaps most importantly, how do youth opportunities, aspirations, and civic values vary in different regions, cultures, and socio-economic strata?

To explore these themes, this event will bring together research papers from diverse contexts such as the UK, the US, India, East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). These countries and regions have different histories, institutional structures, and cultures, but all have youth populations that are facing considerable challenges, and all have experiences of population flows (inward or outward) that are presenting further (and wider) societal challenges. By comparing and contrasting the experiences of youth in these diverse contexts, we will also address an important question: does it make sense to speak of a global crisis for contemporary youth?

The conference programme is now available.

The following presentations from the conference are now available:

The United StatesMillennials Rising? Class, Solidarity, and Politics in the Wake of the Great Recession    Dr Jennifer Silva, Bucknell UniversityDreamers: Immigrant Youths Fighting for Opportunity Dr T. Elizabeth Durden, Bucknell University
Southern EuropeGrowing up in the shadow of global austerity      Professor Carmen Leccardi, University of Milano-Bicocca
From political disaffection to a party system change: The consequences of the economic crisis on young people’s political participation in Spain   Dr Gema García Albacete, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain Greek Young People not in Education, Employment or Training, in the era of crisis: NEETs’ social inclusion/exclusion, employability, civic values and political behaviour     Professor Nikos Papadakis, Dr Panagiotis Theodorikakos and Professor Vassilis Dafermos, University of Crete
AfricaCross-country analysis of youth opportunities and aspirations for TVET in sub-Saharan Africa     Professor Moses Oketch and Dr Golo Henseke, UCL-Institute of EducationYoung Guns: ‘Politricks’ and the Weaponisation of Youth in the Ghetto   Dr Kieran Mitton, Kings College LondonUrban ‘expulsions and the re-making of youth cultures in the securitized state: a South African and UK comparison  Dr Jo-Anne Dillabough, University of Cambridge

Comparative Perspectives

Keynote Lecture: Making it against the odds: diverse strategies and successful adaptation in school-to-work transitions in England          Professor Ingrid Schoon, UCL-Institute of Education
Northern EuropeHow do young peoples’ prospects vary across Europe? – The IF EU Fairness Index        David Kingman, The Intergenerational FoundationThe Crisis for Contemporary Youth: Young People, Opportunities and Civic Values in the UK       Professor Andy Green and Dr Avril Keating, UCL-Institute of EducationRight and wrong citizens: the reconfiguration of citizenship as patriotic duty in contemporary Russia            Professor Hilary Pilkington, University of Manchester and Professor Elena Omelchenko, Higher School of Economics, Russia
South and East AsiaYouth in Delhi: Opportunities, Aspirations, Participation  Dr Divya Vaid, Jawaharlal Nehru University, IndiaYouth Opportunities, Aspirations and Challenges of Transition to Employment and Adulthood: The Case of South Korea    Professor Chon Sun Ihm, Sejong UniversityThe Changing Nature of Graduate Opportunities in Mainland China Dr Liu Ye, Bath Spa UniversityChanging Youth Career Opportunity: A Generational Mobility Perspective   Professor Yung-Feng Lin, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan