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Transitions, cultures, and citizenship: interrogating and integrating youth studies in new times
chapterposted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Anita HarrisAnita Harris
Current ways of thinking about young people are increasingly focused on how they achieve self-identity and negotiate new pathways to and formations of both youth and adulthood, given the de-standardization of the life course, the radical changes in education and employment, and the expansion of the domains of culture, leisure, and consumption (Furlong and Cartmel 2007). Both so-called ‘transitions’ and ‘cultures’ perspectives attend to this question of how young people today achieve recognition, coherence, and meaning, albeit with different emphases. This chapter suggests that a focus on youth citizenship, that is, the ways young people operate and are recognized as competent social and civic actors, allows us to fruitfully cash out the connections between these approaches as well as reflect on the limitations of working within these dominant paradigms. It suggests that framing a research agenda around the issues that citizenship thinking prompts, such as participation, belonging, and recognition, also enables an opening out of youth studies beyond the intellectual histories and debates of the Global North and avoids arbitrary designation of different cohorts of youth for different kinds of research.