For the Springer series Perspectives on Children and Young People Dr Hernán Cuervo & Dr Ana Miranda (Eds.)
This edited book addresses a gap in youth studies by focusing on young people’s experiences in the Global South. It draws together a scholarly range of international and interdisciplinary work on young people’s lives in an incredible diverse and rich but unequal global region. This edited book aims to expand our thinking on youth experiences by linking theoretical and empirical perspectives to regions in the Global South; questioning the Global North domination in the social sciences and in youth studies.
Panel organizers: Fina Carpena-Méndez (Oregon State University) Aleksandra Wierucka (University of Gdansk)
Youth making and unmaking hope in Latin America’s New Ruralities and beyond
Climate chaos, ecological disasters, failed rural livelihoods promoted by neoliberal models of development, exclusionary and authoritarian politics are the conditions in which peasant and indigenous youth in Latin America give meaning to their daily experiences and shape their life trajectories. Both schools and migration that were imagined as sources of hope have often had contradictory roles or failed to deliver on their promises for a better future for rural populations. Facing Euro-American modernity’s imperative of severing the threads of tradition and the constant emergence of new forms of practice and knowing, we explore ethnographic work on peasant and indigenous youth’s struggles to produce spaces of hope through the active generation of alternatives to a consumer-dependent society, new livelihood strategies, sustaining inter-generational relations and cultural identities, migration, social justice advocacy and beyond.
The past decade has witnessed an array of new forms of public and global interest in marginalized children, whether the incredible rise in the visibility of lesbian, gay, and transgender children, the international migrations of refugee children from Latin America and the Syrian conflict, or the over-incarceration and detention in the United States of undocumented and African American children. In a moment when the marginality of childhood and the child’s function as a signal of futurity are being refigured by these global and historical events, this conference seeks papers that reach across the many disciplines that study children to produce new ways of thinking that make sense of and respond to the complexity of their lives.
Migrant youth in the U.S. encounter competing media and institutional discourses that cast them as delinquents, ideal victims, or economic actors (See Heidbrink 2014; Statz 2016). Youth Circulations is largely devoted to the politics of these impossible representations.
What is often less considered is how the parents of young people are implicated in such narrations. In many ways, this is a more subtle though surely consequential process, with family members pathologized as neglectful, violent, poor, or otherwise deficient for presumably “sending” or being complicit in youths’ migration journeys. As our work reveals, these discourses are prevalent in legal accounts, popular portrayals, and migration studies scholarship. By implicitly dismissing the ongoing transnational connectedness of “unaccompanied” youth, they contort and fracture valued intimate relationships over time. Continue reading Threatening Parents?: What DHS Policies Remind Us About Unaccompanied Youth→
Though largely unrecognized by official planning instruments and unacknowledged by the public in anti-immigrant Arizona, immigrants are transforming metropolitan Phoenix. Visualizing Immigrant Phoenix, a student-faculty research collaborative I direct at Arizona State University, explores these transformations by engaging its audience through vibrant visualization of immigrants’ imprint upon the Phoenix urban environment. This project occurs at a time when immigrants are increasingly demonized, criminalized, and denied due process. Our work responds by according due importance to migrants’ creative and deliberate impacts on everyday urbanism in transnationalizing cities.
Spirit Children: Illness, Poverty, and Infanticide in Northern Ghana
In parts of West Africa, some babies and toddlers are considered spirit children—nonhumans sent from the forest to cause misfortune and destroy the family. These are usually deformed or ailing infants, the very young whose births coincide with tragic events, or children who display unusual abilities. In some of these cases, families seek a solution in infanticide. Many others do not.
Chinese academic traditions take zuo ren—self-fulfillment in terms of moral cultivation—as the ultimate goal of education. To many in contemporary China, however, the nation seems gripped by moral decay, the result of rapid and profound social change over the course of the twentieth century. Placing Chinese children, alternately seen as China’s greatest hope and derided as self-centered “little emperors,” at the center of her analysis, Jing Xu investigates the effects of these transformations on the moral development of the nation’s youngest generation.
June 15 marks the 5-year anniversary of the DACA program. For the first time, a recent study analyzes DACA’s impacts on recipients’ psychological wellbeing. The results are clear: DACA can make you feel better, though it may not resolve concerns about deportation.
Undocumented immigrant youth in the United States face a host of challenges that impact their psychological wellbeing. Many experience hopelessness, shame and self-blame, anxiety, fear of deportation, and concern about blocked social mobility. One recent study found that undocumented youth experience a loss of “ontological security,” or the inability to count on the stability of the future. Another study led by immigrant youth at the UCLA Dream Resource Center found that undocumented youth struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, and emotional distress related to their status. There have even been reports of suicide among undocumented young people who felt they could not overcome the barriers imposed by their status.