Comparative Research on Contemporary Youth Social Movements: The Case of the Sahwa Project

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 8:30 AM
Room: 418
Oral Presentation
Carles FEIXA , University of Lleida, Spain
Jose SANCHEZ GARCIA , Geography and Sociology, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain
The methodological approach of the SAHWA project responds to the call of the European 7FP under the topic SSH.2013.4.1-2 “Facing transition in the South and East Mediterranean area: empowering the young generation” by conducting a systematic analysis of young people political participation, economic prospects, job opportunities, and the experience of such processes of transformation in other regions such as Europe, as well as the nature of change in social values and norms in the SEM countries. The data and insights produced by the research and the prospective foresight exercise will provide the basis for new policy approaches to a region that is undergoing profound transformations. This approximation lies on the border between scientific disciplines and concepts and its inter-disciplinary approach. SAHWA explores norms, social values and the role of youth cultures in the SEMs in a comparative and critical perspective. Its intent is to build upon previous research, employing an innovative, pro-active approach that views youth’s political participation as a potential tool for the exercise of agency by different youth groups. In this way, the norms, social values, agency, economic challenges and political empowerment phenomena can be assessed according to the critical nodes emerging from encounters of the local with the global, conceptualized as “the increasing interconnections between youth across the world and their awareness of such connections” (Schafer, cited in Hansen 2008). It has become clear that the current challenge for sociological and anthropological research is to map the new contours of these changing times and the roles being played by various social agents. The epistemological orientation is guided by the extended case method proposed by M. Burawoy (1998). This method is based on an interpretive view of social science, generalizing from structural and symbolic connections between actors and social processes, as revealed by the research itself.