I’ve had so much interest from folks at Uni, around town, internet people, even the media about the Open Café about young people’s politics on Monday. People have been asking: what do you think about this?
Mostly I think: “Oh God what have I got myself into”
I haven’t blogged in a while, so I wanted to share a draft of some ideas with you. And if you like it, you could always come along Monday and buy me a pint…
Poverty – a flashcard from my focus group methodology
The following is an adapted excerpt from a thematic literature review, following a pilot study, that I carried out last spring. I proposed the finding that young people’s experience during the contemporary transition to adulthood challenges researchers with a complex, dualistic relationship between narratives as young people make reflexive, self-narrative transitions to adulthood. The accepted narrative is something like Horatio Alger Jr.’s ‘bootstrap’ novelle about the heroic self-made man. I drew examples from Nayak and Kehily’s studies of young masculinity and femininity during the dual transition of individuals from childhood to independence, and, as a period effect, the transition of British society from an industrial one to a neo-liberalist economy (Nayak and Kehily, 2008) in which making one’s own way in the world represents both a newfound freedom and new post-industrial shackle.
One reason I would like to keep this blog going is to experiment with ideas that turn up in my uni work but that would be more fun without all the citations and wide interrogation that come with doing academic papers.
The big idea in my head right now is youthful antipolitics (from Rys Farthing, 2010) which you could say is a criticism of depicting young people’s political engagement vs. disengagement as a binary. Is young politics so simple, that some kids vote and are good citizens, and some are basically Beavis and Butthead, and don’t give a damn? Or, is there something in sitting at the computer, for example, that doesn’t fit the paradigm of engaged politics but is still useful to young people and the societies they live in?
“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words” – Hesiod of Greece, 8th Century