Chronotopes of Youth in the Global City

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 3:45 PM
Room: F205
Oral Presentation
Carles FEIXA , University of Lleida, Spain
This session is based on the contributions to a book with the same title, to be published by Brill in 2014. It follows some similar themes represented in a previous edited collection published following the International Sociology Association World Congress in Brisbane, Australia in 2002 (Feixa & Nilan, Global Youth? Hybrid cultures, plural worlds, London and New York, Routledge, 2006). The new book builds on the themes of the previous volume but extends the analytical and theoretical approach to focus on the concept of chronotope, that is, the time/space dimension of social practices. Urban space and time are paradigms of analysis that can be productively applied to the study of contemporary youth phenomena, especially the study of youth cultural practices. Place is a defining element in the social relationships between youth, and between young people and the rest of the community. In the city, not only physical places are important though, social and symbolic spaces are equally significant. The virtual spaces available through mobile phone and internet technology enable communication, information, sharing and networking. In both public and virtual spaces young people can collectively connect with the cultures and political agendas of a world brought closer by the pressures of globalisation (Nayak, 2004), even while they give priority to the local. ‘The local now transacts directly with the global’ (Sassen, 2001), altering the conditions of everyday life and producing new kinds of spatial and temporal relationships in urban settings. The spatial temporality of the contemporary city therefore offers a ‘strategic lens’ (Sassen, 2000) for the study of a major social formation - the period we know as youth – in terms of practices and representations.