Perspectives from South America, Reflecting on Key Messages from Chinese and Brazilian Undergraduate Students

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:20
Location: Hörsaal II (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Tom DWYER, University of Campinas, Brazil
This paper brings South American perspectives to bear on reflecting on developments in global youth studies, key ideas and thinkers, and the futures we want.  It draws on analyis from a recent survey that was conducted in 2012 among over 4000 Chinese and Brazilian undergraduate students. The family is the most trusted institution in both societies. Students obtain their views of their country and the world by referring to both old and new media, which are sources they only trust moderately, and news is reinterpreted during discussions with friends and family. This is compatible with the theory of the receiver in communication studies. Overall, students had generally neutral views of the other country when asked about its contribution to: environment, world peace and cooperation between peoples. Such a result is good news for those who wish to avoid a civilizational conflict (Huntington) between the two countries. Student exchange is a visible facet of cultural globalisation, the Brazilian government envisaged sending thousands of students to China, this has not taken place. The survey showed that neither Chinese nor Brazilian students were interested in studying in the other’s country, nor in other large developing countries such as Russia, India and South Africa (BRICS). We seek to explain this and to drqw implications for the future, and for a reflection on the significance of youth studies more generally.