Shifting Identities of Young People on the Arabic Peninsula: The Example of Kuwait

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 16:45
Oral Presentation
Andreas KARSTEN, Youth Policy Labs, Germany
Sven EHMES, Youth Policy Labs, Germany
Identities of young people on the Arabic peninsula have never been tied exclusively to the comparatively young nation states of the region: tribes, sects, religions and families have played and continue to play instrumental roles in defining identity and are now partly complemented, partly challenged by transnational mobility and digital arenas. A series of independent youth surveys across the region, initiated in 2017 and set to continue until 2020, explores how senses of belonging of young people are shifting on the peninsula. It is the first time that young people are surveyed independently in the region, bringing the voice of young people to policy and research.

The first of these youth surveys in the region was conducted in Kuwait, surveying more than 5.000 young people in the first half of 2017 and discussing key findings with more than 500 young people in focus groups in the second half of 2017. This contribution will use the quantitative and qualitative data from the survey and focus groups to explore how young people's layers of identity and senses of belonging are changing in Kuwait, and which new forms of youth activism and participation are emerging in response to and reflecting these changes in the country.