264.2 Youth and culture in late modern Europe

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 11:00 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Sven MOERCH , Psychological, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Helle ANDERSEN , Psychological Department, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Torben BECHMANN JENSEN , Psychology, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark
 Sven Mørch, Helle Andersen, Torben Bechmann Jensen. Copenhagen University

 Youth and culture in late modern Europe

The understanding of European ethnic minority or migrant young people’s individualisation process points to a double challenge. In everyday life young people with ethnic minority background, or “the new youth” in Europe, faces both a social and cultural integration challenge. At the one hand they are placed as other young people in an individualisation and identity process of late modern individualised youth life which is demanding and important for future social success. At the other hand, they are challenged by a new cultural lifestyle which may be different from values and traditions of parents and therefore also makes it difficult to engage and become successful in late modern life. Therefore their cultural identity is in a change.

This way of contrasting two different perspectives in young peoples lives only seem possible because of the different theoretical views embedded in these perspectives. What both approaches seem to overlook is, that ethnic minority integration is a process which has in its centre the individual and individualised agent. Therefore the social integration process mostly is about the agent as an engaged player in his or her life. An agent, who finds and uses energy in a process of becoming integrated in some kind of social life.

In our paper we use experiences from Danish research and our European research project UP2YOUTH to draw some lines in understanding the situation of this group of “new youth” and their situation as caught in-between processes of inclusion and exclusion. Especially we will focus young peoples` activities as their solution to the process of developing late modern agency as individualised social responsibility.