The article presents an empirical understanding of the sacred among the Filipino youth from a multicultural and multifaith context. A multistage item development in Manila and Mindanao was undertaken to prepare a Likert scale meant to explore the empirical dimensions of the construct ‘sacred’. Exploratory factor analysis was utilized to identify the underlying factor structure. The results reveal a four-factor structure: religious, valued, ethical and communal. Filipino youths’ notions veered away from the traditional sacred–profane continuum by introducing a personal–religious dynamic. The results underscore the affinity of the religious dimensions (divine and communal) to Filipino youths’ personal appreciation (ethical and valued) of the sacred.
Drawing on 91 pornography-related submissions sent by young Finns to a moderated question and answer forum on sexual health, this article explores the personal narratives of adolescents on pornography use. Special attention is given to the submissions by girls to explore the widely circulated narratives on the sexualization of adolescence more precisely. In focusing on these accounts of sexual exploration, learning and the pursuit of pleasure, the article examines how girls’ interests in sexually explicit media can be reflexively understood in the context of everyday sexual practices that are already socially constructed and negotiated. The material reveals that Finnish girls depict themselves as invested with substantial agency, competence and volition despite the occasional gender-specific anxieties that their encounters with pornography have created.
Poor mental health in youth has been consistently shown to be rising over the past 20 years. While it is well established that mental health status is associated with social conditions, population-level perspectives make it difficult to identify the complex ways social and structural conditions impact on mental health. Based on longitudinal (mixed method) data, this exploratory longitudinal study aims to study how the life circumstances of education, work and financial situation are related to mental health in young Australians (aged 20–22). Findings show that the combination of study, work and financial hardship can be regarded as a stressor contributing to poor mental health, particularly if experienced over several years, and that those in the middle socio-economic bracket have the worst mental health outcomes. This research has implications for welfare policies and the responsibilities of educational institutions for the welfare of young people.
Contemporary universities in Western democracies are renowned for heavy drinking youth cultures. In this context, abstinence is ‘accountable’ behaviour that requires justification. Some previous research has reported accounts of why young people choose not to drink and the social consequences, but there is limited research on how they achieve abstinence in a heavy drinking culture. Drawing on Heller’s notion of choosing oneself and Giddens’ concept of reflexive choice making, we show how young non-drinking Australian university students emphasize abstinence as an individual lifestyle choice, show determined strength in their decision not to drink and report eventual acceptance from their peers. The non–drinkers in our research use some similar accounts noted in other research such as ‘being sporty’ or ‘focused on their studies’, yet they do not position themselves as part of an alternative subculture such as those in straight edge or religious groups. They choose their abstinent selves both in an existential sense and as an act of everyday self–identity. We argue that the choice of abstinence needs to be viewed as a part of a positive claim to identity, alongside other alternative ways of being for university students.
The engagement of young people of religious faith with global injustice has been little explored in studies either of youth religiosity or youth political participation. The recently established youth initiatives of Christian Aid and Tearfund—two of the UK’s most widely recognized Christian non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—offer a way to explore this, alongside the SPEAK Network, a grassroots Christian student and youth movement that campaigns on social justice issues. Analyzing the blog posts of these three initiatives, this article will focus particularly upon the ways in which Tearfund Rhythms, the Christian Aid Collective and SPEAK use popular culture, categorizing their various uses as either innovation, appropriation, resistance or reclamation. It will then explain the groups’ differing emphases by considering their varying relationships with their members and their different religious positioning, before critically assessing what it means for young adults to ‘do’ religion and politics online.
As a key genre within the urban music economy, grime music has a national and global presence. In the YouTube era, young people film music videos and broadcast them online.
Legislation and policies ostensibly created as a means to maintain public safety combine to create methods to control the behaviour of young people. The production and circulation of urban music videos, therefore, become a contested activity. The racial mechanics of this gaze mean that for urban black youth, group endeavours are often criminalized as ‘gang activity’.
Drawing on a 2014 Twitter profile as its starting point, this article examines the application of public safety legislation and policies in an East London borough. It reflects on how a ‘disciplinary process’ allows for local authorities, the metropolitan police and the judiciary to pin down and organize the movements of urban music practitioners in specific and particular ways.
Sense of coherence (SOC) is receiving increasing attention from a number of disciplines interested in the study of adolescent positive development. Given the significant links between SOC and well-being, attention is now moving to the precursors of SOC. The aim of this study was to analyze the contribution of relationships with parents and teachers (contextual factors) to young people’s SOC while taking into account the potential role of individual differences in prosociality and hyperactivity-inattention (individual factors). The sample consisted of 2,979 adolescents aged 15–18 who had participated in the 2010 edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) survey ‘Health Behaviour in School-aged Children’ (HBSC) in Spain. Data were collected by means of anonymous online questionnaires, and statistical analyses included factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Both contextual and individual factors made significant contributions to the adolescents’ SOC. Importantly, the significance of relationships with parents and teachers remained once prosociality and hyperactivity-inattention were taken into account.
The correlation between young people with poor outcomes and educational exclusion is well documented, but the relationship between the two is taken for granted and remains unexplored. A qualitative longitudinal research project, employing innovative biographic and visual methods, explored this relationship. This article argues that the timing of exclusion is directly related to periods of increased or intense trauma with the transference of emotionality from one domain (personal) to another (educational). This methodological approach enables a distinctive and powerful way of understanding young people’s experiences of exclusion and social change, through the voices of the young people themselves. An original methodological and empirical contribution is made by exploring the unique value of a biographical longitudinal approach focusing on critical moments to understanding young people’s experiences of exclusion; the relationship between multiple traumas in young people’s lives; and how these traumas precipitate exclusion.
As an extension of the research into strategies for handling economic adversity of young people in poor families, this study examines strategy use in the context of middle-income families affected by unemployment. Interviews with 39 young people in previously comfortably-off families where one or both of the parents had become unemployed were conducted. The purpose was to explore how, in a Swedish context, young people think about and respond to situations following a drastic reduction in family income. Results indicate that while the strategies used by these young people are generally similar to those in poor families, no use of avoidance-oriented strategies was found. This, it is argued, is because parental unemployment and financial adversity are not perceived as stigmatizing.
In the last decade, young people have been at the fore of spectacular global protests, from revolutions across North Africa to the Occupy Wall Street movements spreading across Europe and North America. Youth involvement in these protests has interested major media and the scholarly community, but few have thoroughly interrogated young women’s distinct formations of transnational, youth-only feminist networks. This study, which employed qualitative methods influenced by grounded theory, offers insight into the motivations and operations of five young women’s transnational feminist networks (TFNs). Key findings include young feminists’ articulations of encountering marginalization, both age and gender based, in existing and established networks, and creating ‘youth-only’ feminist networks in response. Coalescing around these experiences of marginalization, young women perceive their networks to constitute a ‘counter-public sphere’ through which they can engage in praxis-oriented discourses, and to constitute a space in which to experiment with and deliberate new or alternative movement repertoires.
This article considers how young people actively participate in their own socialization process by following their journey through the weakly institutionalized vocational education and training (VET) programme for office work in Norway. The article explores the meaning-making strategies students use to construct coherent narratives when faced with uncertain school-to-work transitions. The study is based on qualitative longitudinal interviews, following the same students over a three-year period. They enter vocational education open-minded, yet confident in its future labour market advantages. Initially, they thrive and consider office work a viable career path; however, this enthusiasm is dampened gradually. Deprived of employment opportunities, they complete the apprenticeship and face poor job prospects in a labour market that favours higher education credentials. By reinterpreting vocational education as being of general utility within a discourse where extended transitions are considered normal, they neither appear regretful nor consider themselves deceived.
Restorative practices (RP) and youth work continue to emerge as more formalized fields of theory and practice. The interaction between these fields requires attention as RP gain popularity among services delivered to young people. Of particular importance, and currently receiving inadequate attention, is a tension regarding the conceptualization of power in the relationship between practitioners and young people. This article examines the conceptualization of power within youth work and restorative practices drawing on post-structural power–knowledge relations. A shared emphasis on empowerment and relationality within these fields obscures the problematization of the young person–worker dynamic. Of concern in particular is that restorative practices appear to operate within a power–knowledge discourse of control. This article will outline the frameworks’ potential as a source of both transformation and extension of a ‘carceral network’.
The article examines the discourses related to gender in interviews with welfare service practitioners and their young, 18- to 29-year-old clients using ‘boy discourse’ as an analytical framework and J. M. Barrie’s story of Peter Pan as a metaphorical framework. Those beyond the reach of the welfare services are referred to by the practitioners as ‘lost young people’. Some practitioners see young men in particular as poor creatures, unable to achieve anything without a girlfriend, whose task is to get these Peter Pans ‘on the right track’ as Wendy does. The ‘Lost Girls’ are in a similar position to the ‘Lost Boys’ but the practitioners are more concerned about the boys. Their assumption is that girls can cope but boys need Wendys in order to succeed in life. As a result, the combined efforts of the female staff and nurturing girlfriends are seen as instrumental in steering ‘failing boys’ towards adulthood.
This article reviews some of the key political interventions by black and Asian theorists on the migrant experience and the politics of culture. Stressing the political dimensions of this work, it argues for a reconnection to the interventions made by Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy who introduced a repertoire of theoretical tools to understand migration, new ethnicities and multiculture. A case study of an anti-racist musical project based in Kent during the early 2000s is used to illustrate this argument. This initiative brought Asian dance music DJs from east London together with Czech and Polish Roma musicians and culminated in the making of a CD called Asylum. The article documents how the CD provided a resource used in anti-racist education in predominantly white schools in Kent. It argues that music is politically important because it can challenge the way migration and identity is understood and offer alternative expressions of multiculture and belonging. The article also stresses musical culture’s capacity to organize social life differently in a way that bridges cultural differences and establishes a shared form of likeness and commonality.
This article explores young people’s understandings of assessments conducted in secure accommodation. The concepts of ‘institutional identity’ and ‘text-mediated’ actions have been used in the analysis. The main empirical material is repeated interviews with assessed young people during a two-year period. In the findings, the stories of three young people display understandings of appreciation, disappointment and self-development. The assessments seem to have made the youths aware of their ‘failings and faults’. An analysis of the written assessments found institutional identities of ‘inner problems and unstructured everyday lives’. In conclusion, the young people’s understandings of the meanings and implications of the assessments are suggested to be connected to the caseworkers’ text-mediated actions and their position in the assessment process. The young people’s stories indicate the need to consider the institutional context of the assessments and to acknowledge young people’s efforts in care.
This article explores the experiences of young British people with African and Caribbean heritage during a volunteer tourism trip to Zimbabwe. It gives an ethnographic account of how racialized identifications and geographies surfaced – and were negotiated – through emotional encounters and embodied performances. Young volunteers contended with the racialized imaginaries of charity that painfully positioned their blackness as ‘mis-fitting’ in the performances of virtue central to volunteer tourism. However, they performed their blackness in ways that asserted value, variously invoking a proud ‘authentic’ bond with ‘Africa’ and forging connections around diasporic African cool. Volunteers’ claims of authentic ‘Africanness’ often problematically homogenized Africa, but celebratory affects around transnational popular culture contained possibilities for disrupting denigrating hierarchies. This account illustrates the potential for youth studies to engage further with the ‘more-than-representational’ ways in which racialized difference comes into force, but that this approach can and should sharpen our analysis of enduring racialized prejudices.
This article is based on empirical work which examined the inclusion of women and girls in the UK’s Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) agenda. It focuses specifically on a road show designed to raise the academic aspirations of Muslim girls in order to improve Muslim women’s performance in the labour market. It begins by illustrating how global development discourses of girls’ empowerment (the ‘Girl Effect’) permeate the rationale for the road shows. The article interrogates these overarching narratives through analysis of interview material and participant observation. First, it highlights the diversity amongst Muslim girls in terms of region, social class and ethnicity. Second, it interrogates the rationale for the project, addressing other factors such as discrimination which also affect Muslim women’s position in the labour market. It concludes by stressing the importance of ‘writing against culture’ and thinking intersectionality about ‘Muslim girls’, not only as Muslims but as ‘girls who are Muslim’.
In this study we examine the ethnic identifications and self-labels discussed in open-ended interviews with 250 young Asian Americans involved in the youth culture of dance clubs. The ethnic category ‘Asian American’ has a shifting history with contested boundaries, as can be seen in the varied relationships with this label described by the participants in the study. Some embrace the Asian American label and identity as it reflects and fosters community and solidarity among disparate Asian ethnic groups in the U.S. Others reject this label for themselves, or use it in only very specific circumstances and prefer to identify with ethnonational labels. Reasons for this range from discomfort with the broadness of ‘Asian American’, to a desire to avoid confusion with other Asian ethnic groups, to dislike of a conflation between Chinese and Asian American identities. Some participants—particularly those of Indian and Filipino descent—excluded their group from the Asian American designation or felt excluded from it by others. We then examine the ways that the symbolic boundaries between Asian ethnic groups described by the respondents are reflected in patterns of participation, inclusion and exclusion in the dance club scenes, which vary importantly by ethnonational group.
The integration of ethics into research with young people in vulnerable life situations is an on-going challenge that cannot be solved through predefined guidelines or fixed standards. In this article, we address the ethical predicaments of keeping in contact with young people in vulnerable life situations through a longer duration of time in order to conduct follow-up interviews. Drawing on cases from two separate studies, the context of the interview situation and the young informant’s general life situation are analyzed in terms of how they influence what is ethically acceptable. While the blurriness of what is appropriate could lead to suggestions for more well-defined ethical guidelines, we argue that the best and most ethical way to deal with this ambiguity is to recognize it and actively address it as both a practical and an academic challenge.
Teenagers’ interest in highbrow culture like classical music, museums and plays is somewhat low, but this group’s extensive Internet use may heighten this interest and increase their cultural participation online. In contrast to previous research, we examined teenagers’ online involvement in both popular and highbrow culture. An investigation among 892 high school teenagers indicated that explanations from the fields of cultural participation and media use account for differences in online cultural involvement. Teenagers with parents who are more highly educated and culturally active, and those with culturally interested friend are in turn more interested in culture, and communicate online more about both highbrow and popular culture. In addition to interest and socialization, there appears to be a minor mobilization effect of Internet use, as those with better digital skills and spending more time online engage more in online cultural communications.
While it is well understood that demographic, cultural, and personality characteristics predict adolescents’ television viewing, little is known about adolescents’ conformity to the television viewing behaviour of their peers. In particular, there is a lack of research that investigates the similarity in television programme preferences among adolescents and their classmates. The current three-wave panel study involving 732 adolescents showed that, at baseline, adolescents watched one-fourth of the television programmes that their classmates watched. Adolescents were more likely to conform to the television programme preferences of their classmates than to the preferences of non-classmates. Latent growth curve modelling demonstrated that the similarity in programme preferences among adolescents and their classmates increased over time. Adolescents’ overall television viewing predicted the baseline similarity in programme preferences and adolescents’ degree of social viewing, access to a bedroom television, and the total amount of television viewing predicted the long-term growth in similarity.
This article discusses the empowering potential of spaces that enable youth participation. It proposes that a perspective on participation as a process of learning rather than as control over resources opens up novel insights on the ways participatory processes unfold. Drawing from empirical work in the UK and Greece, the article looks at the dynamic potential of youth participation as it is expressed through social practices and social relations in given spaces, to identify distinct facets of participation such as performative, managerial and creative. It concludes that youth participation can be empowering when it is linked to other domains of young people’s experience and when its capacity to produce diverse processes and outcomes is recognized.
Revisiting Gilroy’s After Empire alongside Amin’s recently mooted ethos of ‘indifference to difference’, this article explores how conviviality constitutes a more radical ideal of urban interaction than ordinarily appreciated. Based on interviews and observations in two London locations, it is argued that as opposed to being a concept which simply names everyday practices of multi-ethnic interaction, conviviality speaks uniquely to a sophisticated ability to invoke difference whilst avoiding communitarian, groupist precepts. It is consequently this article’s contention that sociological accounts need and can assume a bolder line in disaggregating contemporary formations of multiculture from the orthodoxies of integration and the normativity of communitarian belonging and identity.
This article reflects on diaspora as an ethnographic method. Grounded in a decolonial critique of colonial methodologies (including an evaluation of transnational scholarship), it discusses how diaspora provides intellectual and practical tools for ethnography, tools grounded in the appreciation for the relational, dialogical and poetic qualities of social and cultural life and invested in decolonial approaches to knowledge and power. This article is not another call for a one-size-fits-all approach to ethnographic methods, but instead reflects on the knots of ethnographic enquiry around three outer East London youth clubs, between 2008 and 2012. In doing so, it highlights a number of debates pertinent to this special issue: how to think and do ethnography with young people in a changing migratory and racialized landscape; how to engage transformations in youth culture; and how to address digital technologies.