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

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 9:15 AM
Room: 418
Oral Presentation
Jordi NOFRE , Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Ariadna FERNANDEZ-PLANELLS , Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
The year 2011 has witnessed the emergence of new types of social movements, transnational in scope but especially intense in the Mediterranean area, one of which precipitating factors has been the leading role of the new generations and the urban middle classes. The year began with the so-called 'Arab spring', continued with the '#spanishrevolution' of 15-M, the Chilean students protests, riots in some English working-class suburbs, the Occuppy Movement in the United States and ended –at least till date-  with riots in Turkey and Brasil. The antecedents date back to the 'anti-globalization' movement emerged in Seattle in 1999 and in Porto Alegre after 2001, the revolt of the French ‘banlieues' in autumn 2005 and the Greek mobilization in winter 2008, coinciding with the start of the international financial crisis. This paper presents the results of a research project funded: The Indignant Generation. Space, culture and power in the youth movement of 2011 [GENIND]. While it is early to assess the impact of such movements, it seems evident that they respond to a new cycle of social protests, which manifest in public space (both in the squares of cities and in the Net).The project aims to shed light on the nature, causes and recent drift of such movements, taking the Spanish case as a reference point and comparing it with the mobilizations in four Mediterranean countries (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Egypt), and other territories where there was also mobilizations (England, USA, Chile, Brazil). Although it is based on ongoing ethnographic research, their orientation is primarily theoretical. The main objective of this communication is to present the GENIND project and its main results. It discusses the convergent and divergent elements of such movements, its innovative aspects and its continuities with previous movements and their local and global impact on youth and society.