CFP: AAA Panel on Youth and Social Change

Dear ACYIG colleagues,

We are organizing a panel for this year’s AAA meeting in December in Washington, DC. A tentative title is “Unsettling the Trope of Change: Negotiations with ‘Tradition’ among Contemporary Youth.” Papers on this panel will draw on research with youth (broadly defined) to¬† unsettle the common dichotomy between change and tradition.

Here we provide a sense of our motivation for this panel, but please excuse the unfinished nature of this description — we thought it would be better to not delay any longer in soliciting interest among ACYIG members.

In our research (Bonnie’s in India, Mindy’s in Mexico and the US), we both work with youth and teens who are generally the first generation in their families to attend school and to plan for (or are currently in) higher education. They have grown up with the goal of producing very different adult identities within society than those of their parents. However, we continue to see unexpected continuitieswith “traditional culture”that do not fit with a Euro-American model of individualization in Late Modernity. We see them often prioritize their family roles and maintain a strong sense of familism, despite simultaneously aiming for such modern economic identities that in the West link to the loss of familism.
While we tend to situate our own research within a context of social change, we realize that we need to unsettle this anthropological trope to enable a more nuanced understanding of growing up, in order to theorize how young people embrace these seemingly conflicting local and global ideals for personhood.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in joining our panel (email: We will need abstracts by the end of March, but need to hear from you soon if you are thinking about submitting with us so that we can plan accordingly.

Thank you for your interest!

Bonnie Richard (UCLA) & Mindy Steinberg (UCLA