Jürgen Hartmann on Youth Mobility and Cultural Contacts and Their Relevance to the Youth Research of the 21st Century.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:00
Location: Hörsaal II (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Lyudmila A. NURSE, Oxford XXI, United Kingdom
Swedish sociologist and youth researcher Jürgen Hartmann (1944-2015) was ahead of his time on the most significant issues in youth research: the importance of new technologies, youth mobility and travel. My paper addresses just one of Hartmann’s legacies-the research concept of “youth mobility” as related to the “emergence of a European consciousness and a fruitful co-operation in economy, politics and culture” (Hartmann, 1995). In the 1990-s he analysed consecutive types of youth mobility in Europe after WWII: initially labour market mobility-particularly of young people to areas with a higher demand for labour, which was regarded as a social-economic tool in fighting regional imbalances between the European north and south as well as between rural and industrialised regions. Then,  from the mid 1990-s a changing concept of mobility that included three main aspects which Hartmann related to the rise in youth mobility of a different kind: (1) individual rights of free movement as embodied in the EC Treaty and as developed in the Single Act; (2) sufficient occupational and geographical mobility to maximise the benefits of the development of the Internal market and (3) a need to maintain social cohesion and regional balance across the Union and to avoid some of the negative effects of previous migrations.

Hartmann provided an analysis of Euro barometers on the statistics of young people aged 15-24 who have experience of travelling abroad. In 1991, 50% of that age band had travelled. He also argued that in case of Sweden, for example, the European inter-rail ticket has contributed to young Swedes’ experience of being “European” to a much higher degree than any institutionalised exchange programme. With youth migration back at the top of the political agenda Hartmann’s methodological and analytical advances on youth mobility could be an invaluable resource to address new challenges.