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Session Overview
RN30_02b_P: Youth in changing societies
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Airi-Alina Allaste, Tallinn University
Location: PC.3.15
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: C, Level: 3.

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Young people in the city: redefining urban space through art practices

Nadezhda Vasileva, Yana Krupets

National Research University Higher School of Economics in St.Petersburg, Russian Federation

A lot of big post-soviet cities in Russia have urban political regime, which may be called “growth machine”. It means, that the crucial role in decision-making process and formation of the urban fabric is played by local authorities and business elite. In such conditions urban landscape becomes more hostile, digital and controlled, that does not reflect young people’s requirements and makes them find alternative means for transforming city space, which can take the form of different art practices. This research examines sticker-artist community in Saint-Petersburg (community, which is represented by teenagers and young adults, who create images on small sticky papers and put them on different objects in the city) and answers the question how participants implement their “right to the city”: how they experience and change the city through their practices, and how their practices influence on their city perception. The study was carried out in framework of the project «DIGITAL YOUTH IN THE MEDIA CITY: Urban Ethnography in the Streets and Stations of Helsinki and St Petersburg», supported by Kone Foundation (2016), and based on ethnographic data (collected from June till October 2016), which includes in-depth interviews with 13 young men and 3 women, observations and participation in the youth activities. Findings suggest that stickering is not only the way to domesticate the urban environment, bringing a unique, personal in often anonymous, alienated technological system, but also a practice, which effects on the artists’ sense of belonging, urban identity and citizenship.

Social Inequalities in Rural Britain: Impacts on Young People Post-2008

Niki Black1, Karen Scott2, Mark Shucksmith1

1Newcastle University, United Kingdom; 2Exeter University, United Kingdom

This paper investigates the impacts of the 2008 economic crisis and its aftermath on young people through a case study of a sparsely populated rural area of England. A dominant theme in youth studies is the concept of the youth transition, from childhood to adulthood, from school to employment, from the parental home to independence, and so on. An important element of this paper will be to understand the main sources of welfare and how the relative contribution of each of these (the welfare mix) is changing. These sources are generally considered to be the labour market, the family and the state (Antonucci et al 2014) and different national mixes of these are often referred to as ‘welfare regimes’ (Esping-Anderson 1990). This paper explores, for example, the flexibilisation of labour markets, with insecure jobs more common, often with part-time or variable hours of work (e.g. zero hours contracts); further and higher education policies; changes to housing markets; diminished social welfare support and welfare conditionality; centralization or withdrawal of services including public transport; digital inclusion; and sources of advice. This paper asks how place, distance, transport and sparsity of population mediates opportunities. What spaces are available to young people, and what freedoms and responsibilities? What is the role of institutions? And how have these changed during the economic crisis and since?

Youth and ‘Geneo-cid’: Greek National and European Union Factors Contributing to the Lost Generation of Greece

Sotiris Chtouris1, DeMond Miller2

1University of the Aegean, Greece; 2Rowan University, United States of America

Karl Mahnheim’s conceptualization of “generation as a social structure” provides a framework for understanding the structure of social and intellectual movements of our time. The destruction of the economic basis and work socialization processes are the factors that a generation is losing its social existence. We refer to this phenomenon as ‘geneo-cid,’ or a form of massive deconstruction of generation succession. Data from the IN4Youth study in Greece provides evidence that ‘geneo-cid’ is a result of the ongoing decline of the social and educational institutions, youth unemployment, and the decline in ability to transact intergenerational reciprocity and exchange (parents and grandparents are losing their saving (real estate, pensions etc.). Combined with a political system that fails to adequately respond to external forces from the European Union to mitigate the social, cultural and economic impacts of the impact of austerity on the youth population, young citizens question the government’s ability to perform its fiduciary responsibilities to support future generations. Hence the political elite’s actions that negatively impact the future of youth, or in some cases inaction in an era of economic crisis impact negatively on youth self-identity. The goal of this paper is to understand the forces that serve as a catalyst to bring about ‘geneo-cid’ and make recommendations specific to youth policy in Greece that can also be applicable across other similar contexts.

Italian youth in trouble: between ‘new’ life-stages and ‘old’ intergenerational relations

Sebastiano Benasso1, Sveva Magaraggia2

1University of Genoa, Italy; 2University of Milano-Bicocca

In this paper we reflect on the intertwining of the redefinition of the life-stages, the ‘new’ patterns of adulthood transitions and the intergenerational relations.

Thus, our first questions are: how does the radical transformation that invested the transition to adulthood change the ways we define adulthood itself? and how does it interfere with the processes of mutual recognition amongst different generations? Indeed, intergenerational relations acquire even more complexity, in a framework in which a) structural factors like the precarisation of the labour market and the aging population heighten reciprocal interdependence and b) changes in the life-courses patterns distance the different generations, especially in terms of biographical sense-making and ‘biographicity’ (Alheit and Dausien 2000; Stauber 2007; Walther 2016). Which effects on the generational order (Alanen 2009) are produced by these complexities? and how intergenerational relations contribute to the inequalities reproduction?

Seeking to address these questions, we reflect on possible ways to reconceptualise adulthood and the intergenerational ties that should guarantee solidarity and wellbeing in everyday life.

These theoretical reflections are grounded on two empirical works done in the Northern part of Italy, with thirtysomething people who are still struggling with a prolonged and de-standardised transition process (Cavalli and Galland 1996; White and Wyn 2008), thus negotiating new ‘adult roles’, with particular reference to parenthood. This complex transition is significant and widespread in the Italian context that, as part of the Southern group of welfare states (Ferrera 1996), has low levels of welfare provision and high reliance on the family as a form of support.

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