‘Stuck in the middle with who?’: mapping out and making sense of the missing middle of youth studies
BSA Youth Study Group One Day Seminar
Friday November 4th 2011, BSA Meeting Room, Imperial Wharf, London
Keynote speaker: Professor Rob MacDonald, Teesside University
Over the years, research in the field of youth studies has produced many important insights and has been influential in critiquing, shaping, and changing ideas, perceptions and social policies related to young people’s lives. The focus has, rightly so, oftentimes been on those more obviously situated on the margins of society and possibly at risk of becoming excluded or disconnected. This attention to social disadvantage has often been mirrored by an interest in ‘successful’ youth trajectories, leading to theorisations of the youth period largely dominated by dualistic notions such as ‘slow’ versus ‘fast track’ or ‘linear’ versus ‘nonlinear’ transitions.
It could be argued that not all young people’s lives pertain to this dichotomous approach, neither objectively or subjectively. France (2007) has noted the need to explore and develop our understanding of apparently ‘ordinary’ or ‘unspectacular’ experiences of youth, while Roberts (2011) argues that this gap in our knowledge represents a ‘missing middle’. Furthermore, the concept of ‘ordinariness’ and other similar themes emerged in a number of papers at last year’s Youth 2010 conference.
This one day seminar seeks to explore, analyse and theorise the experiences of ‘middling youth’ and identify the parameters of what might constitute the middle ground. We invite abstracts of 200 words (max) for either theoretical or empirical paper-presentations that will contribute to enhancing our understanding of this issue.
The scope of topics for papers this seminar is very open. Papers can draw on any aspect of research regarding youth identities, cultures or transitions that relate to the main theme of the day.
Abstracts are welcome from researchers at all career stages, including doctoral students.
A call for delegates will be sent out at a later date.
Deadline for abstracts is August 5th 2011
Please send abstracts or any questions to Steve Roberts (s.d.roberts AT soton.ac.uk)
Categories: Higher Education