Youth Research History


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Helena Helve on the history of youth research. Presentation at the M.A. EYS Short Course in February 2011.

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Youth Research History

  1. 1. Supported by<br />YOUTH RESEARCHHow issues of youth research have changed?Helena Helve<br />
  2. 2. Content:<br />Youth<br />Youthresearch<br />Different approaches <br />Concluding notes<br />Discussion of global youth <br /> research<br />
  3. 3. Youth researchers spend their<br />lives researching and writing about<br />inequality, exclusion, non-<br />participation, disadvantage and <br />disengagement, in other words <br />treating youth research as <br />research on youth related <br />problems. But as the basis of an <br />orientation to youth, it is rather <br />one-sided. We should also <br />highlight young people as a <br />positive force in society, as a <br />resource that is changing the <br />culture as well as societal <br />structures. (Gudmundsson 2000.)<br />ISA RC 34, Sociology of Youth, (funded 1975)<br /><br />
  4. 4.
  5. 5. “youth” <br />youth as a transition into adulthood as well as a key to societal change (see e.g. Coleman, 1973; Bynner, 1987 and 2001; Bynner & Kokljagina, 1995; Chisholm, 1995; Chisholm and Du Bois-Reymonds, 1993;Chisholm and Hurrelmann 2002)<br />the western phenomenon has been a prolongation of youth <br />“post-adolescent” phenomenon (e.g., Gauthier & Pacom, 2001)<br />late/post adolescence as “emerging adulthood” (Arnett, 2001)<br />
  6. 6. Sigmund Freud, Erik H. Erikson, and Jean Piaget <br />different stages of development<br />to achieve a well-developed adult identity<br />Social learning theories (Bandura, 1977);<br />Sozialisationtheories<br />Life-course theories from the 1980s<br />‘Individualization thesis’ (Beck 1986, 1992)<br />‘trajectories’ (Jones & Wallace, 1992; Chisholm & Hurrelmann, 1995)<br />International Year of Young People in 1985<br />The IARD Institute, Milano, 1961Das Deutsche Jugendinstitut (DJI), 1963 <br />NYRI 1986<br />NYRIS 1 NORDIC YOUTH RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM 1987 <br />Finnish Youth Research Society 1987<br />Theoreticalbackgrounds and institutionalization<br />
  7. 7. Paradigm changes from Positivisms to Realisms and Constructionisms- Britain & USA: <br />in the 1960s and 1970s, scholarly attention turned to peer groups and youth subcultures as vessels for transmitting proper work values, social attitudes and behaviours to young people<br />in 1970s British social scientists (Hall, 1976; Willis, 1977; 1987; Griffin 1985) and others working in the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS)<br /> youth sub-cultures both as manifestations of youth rebellion and as mirrors of the dominant power relations under capitalism, patriarchy, and racism (Foucault, Marxism, CCCS, Subculture Theory Maffesoli 1985; ,Hall & Jefferson, 1993). <br />
  8. 8. Youth Research East & Central Europe… First Stage in the 1960s and 70s<br />the rising political concerns <br />in the German Democratic Republic in 1966, then in the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Romania and elsewhere youth research institutes were founded<br />strong influence of the official Marxist ideology<br />much empirical information about the varying expectations and experiences of young people with large-scale quantitative surveys (Kovacheva 2005)<br />Second Stage in 1980s<br />international co-operation started between East and West. <br />qualitative studies<br />
  9. 9. European Youth Research:<br />Methodological pluralism:<br />case-study approaches, ethnographies, life history and focus group interviewing, discourse and narrative analysis<br />Theoretical pluralism<br />traditional indicators such as class, gender, and ethnicity; changes in inter-generational relationships influence the process of becoming actors in late modernity/post-modernity (Furlong, Fred Cartmel, 2006)<br />inequality is manifested in critical variants of theories of peer groups and youth sub-cultures <br />gender studiesAlice in Wonderland Conference 1992<br />hybrid and technologizedidentities (Mizrach; Feixa) <br /> Network of Experts on Youth Knowledge, EC 1993 - Since 2003 European Commission/Council of Europe Youth Partnership.<br /> International reviews of national youth policy 1997 (Williamson)<br />)<br />
  10. 10. Concluding notes: Different approaches in youth research<br />1) Youth research as descriptive and correlations: focus on quantitative aspects of what young people – often defined by age – are doing:<br />Education, criminality, drug use, political participation, health, etc.; and how these different youth indicators are correlated. <br />2) Youth cultural research in the 60s and 70s<br /> looking at new youth cultures and cultural lifestyles <br />mainly qualitative – looking for innovative aspects in youth life<br />3) understanding youth individualisation in biographs from 80s: interests in understanding young people as a resourceful category in late modern society<br /> citizenship, identity – empowerment, life management, agency<br />mixed methods <br />attention to the historical and contextual processes of different forms of individualisation in different groups of youth: minorities, immigrants, excluded YP<br />4) Praxis or evaluation research <br />political youth initiatives and youth projects<br />looking for the “best practices”<br />evidence—based policy making; Eurobarometers, Youth Reports<br />
  11. 11. KEY FIGURES RELATING TO EU DEMOGRAPHY<br />96 million young people aged 15-29 <br />15-29 year olds 19.4 % of the EU total population<br />almost 40 % of employed 15-24 year-olds work on a temporary contract<br />NEETs – Not in Education, Employment or Training: more than one third of 15 to 24 year old ones<br />approximately 26 % of unemployed young people have been unemployed for more than 12 months<br />at risk of poverty19 million children under 18 year olds and 20 percent of young people from 18 to 24<br />Need for comparative and longitudinal research perspectives<br />