Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
RN30_01c: Risk and agency
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Signe Ravn, University of Melbourne
Location: GM.304
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road

Show help for 'Increase or decrease the abstract text size'

“No One Learned”: Interpreting a Drugs Crackdown Operation and its Consequences Through the ‘Lens’ of Social Harm

Will Mason

The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

This article seeks to extend sociological studies of youth, deviance and policing by detailing young people’s interpretations of a drugs crackdown operation, in a northern English city. Using a two-staged longitudinal qualitative approach, unique insights are reported both from the time that the operation took place and a point in time, five years afterwards. The data offer rich accounts of the immediate, short and longer term impacts, as interpreted by youth workers and a group of mostly Somali young people (aged 13 – 19). Social harm, it is argued, offers a useful ‘lens’ through which to critically explore the culpability of well-meaning state intervention in the (re)production of structural inequalities for young people.

Young People, Well-being and Risk-taking: Doing Gender in Relation to Practices of Health and Heavy Drinking

Jukka Antero Törrönen, Filip Roumeliotis, Eva Samuelsson

Stockholm University, Sweden

Young people’s current alcohol consumption provides an expressive case to study their gendered performances of health and risks. In Sweden young people’s alcohol consumption has declined since 2000 and been challenged by competing activities, some of which are related to health promoting practices such as doing sports. This makes the comparison of young people’s masculinities and femininities in health and heavy drinking an important topic. Our data consists of semi-structured interviews about alcohol, health and leisure time activities among young people between 15 to 19 years old (N=56). By drawing on Butler’s work on ‘gender as performative’ (1990) and Connell’s understanding of gendered identities as ‘configurations of practices’ (2005), we analyze how our interviewees are doing masculinities and femininities in relation to health and heavy drinking in the contexts of their everyday life routines. The interviewees emphasize that the practices of pursuing well-being involve multiple tensions between social, physical, cultural, emotional and symbolic dimensions. Some interviewees see heavy drinking as part of healthy practices, others exclude if from healthy life style. The interviewees contest the status of heavy drinking as a cool and compulsive ritual in the transition to adulthood. There is more room for young men to get recognition for their masculinity through other activities, such as in computer gaming and sports. For young women, in turn, risk-taking by heavy drinking does not appear as exciting an activity as for previous generations. The female interviewees tend to limit their drinking by identifying with the conventional images of women as vulnerable to male violence and sexual harassment. For them, other arenas seem to provide more attractive activities to play with or contest traditional feminine boundaries.

Cat Calling, Sexual Harassment And Women's Strategies Of Resistance DuringThe Second Largest Festival in Europe The Roskilde Festival

Annette Michelsen la Cour

University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

During the second largest music festival in Northern Europe 130.000 participants with an average age of 25 meet and celebrate for 7 days each year in July. Security has become an issue after the report of several rapes or other sexual harassments of girls and women on festivals in neighboring countries. In a pilot study of the theme of security from the recent 2018-festival in Roskilde, 7 qualitative focus group interviews in 7 camps involving male and female participants between the age of 17 and 23 as well as qualitative interviews with organizers and NGO’s were conducted. Findings showed that participants are afraid of neither sexual harassment neither of rape. Findings showed that the sexual harassment of girls is organized through verbal call-outs named “cat calling” and the belittling “tiger-mis” (baby tigress) as well as through physical attempts to force the girls to do lap dances, in sexually inviting gestures as well as through grading their looks and breasts offering them a “free beer for free tits”. This can be seen as a sexual assault. But findings showed, that girls do take precautions and have developed strategies of resistance to unwanted sexual encounters in which the camps and their camp mates play a significant role in protecting them from others seeking unwanted sexual intimacy. The findings also showed that both sexes can be aggressive in their attempts to have sex but also that females find, that so-called tent sex is overrated as all participants are often smelling, dirty and drunk or on drugs. The strategies can be seen as acts of resistance towards sexual consumption in the sexualized space of the festival.

The Code of Civility: An Ethnography of Youth Culture, Adaptation and Survival in Croatia's Post-War Apartheid

Jenae Michelle Carpenter

The University of Melbourne, Australia

Three decades after the collapse of Yugoslavia, Vukovar remains a deeply divided town. Today, social relationships between Croats and minority-Serbs remain organised around the logics of war but have metastasised into an invisible system of ethnic apartheid, written onto the built environment in memorials and shelled buildings, through to the ethnically-divided school system and labour market. As young people were born in the aftermath of the war, they offer a window onto the impacts of segregation and mechanisms through which ethno-nationalism is produced, transmitted, and transformed, over time. Existing literature, however, has failed to appreciate the burdens of post-conflict segregation upon young people in Vukovar, or elsewhere. Combining six-months of ethnographic fieldwork with thirty-five qualitative interviews, this article explores the experience of growing up within this coercive system of apartheid. Initially, I had thought ethnic conflict would prove a ubiquitous presence and expected to write about how hostile social boundaries stemming from an uneasy mix of institutional segregation and multi-ethnic proximity would act as a flashpoint for violence. To my surprise, however, everyday relations were not described as outwardly hostile or antagonistic. In everyday life, young men drew on a range of adaptive strategies to fashion the illusion of peace, imposing severe restrictions on their movement, speech and dress. Ultimately, these strategies pertain to a street-code–‘the code of civility’– as ‘civility’ became a valuable cultural resource and socially sanctioned form of masculinity in Vukovar. Rather than providing a sustainable solution to ethnic conflict, however, the code of civility remains highly constrictive and amounts to a new form of psychological warfare which lies at the heart of persistent, yet invisible, victimisation within the town.