Arab Mediterranean Youth and the Representation of the Future

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal II (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Carmen LECCARDI, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Daniela CHERUBINI, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Young people’s relationship with the future is a key issue in sociological reflection and a strategic point of departure for the analysis of social change. Main debates on this issue revolve around young people’s strategies to confront an uncertain future and to maintain some forms of biographical projectuality in a context of rapid transformations and widespread economic and social uncertainty.

The paper will address these issues drawing on qualitative research on the representations of the future expressed by young people of Arab Mediterranean origin in Italy. It explores how their orientation towards the future is changing, mostly in relation to the dramatic political change of their countries of origin. According to current research, prevalent narratives of the future expressed by European youths seem to be articulated around the idea of the crisis, while the visions of the Arab youths tend more to convey an idea of trust and progress. The analysis will show how the young people of Arab Mediterranean origin who live in Italy deal with these divergent visions of the future, coming to an original synthesis between these polarities.

The paper is part of the FP7 research project “Empowering the new generation: towards a new social contract in South and East Mediterranean countries (SAHWA)”.