Brics Sociology of Youth: Theoretical and Practical Contributions to Understanding
RC34 Sociology of Youth
This session seeks to build new references within international youth sociology, and greater mutual understanding within the BRICS (Brazil Russia, India, China and South Africa).
The legacy of our founding fathers permits sociologists everywhere to use common conceptual languages and research methods. Under the auspices of successive leaderships of BRICS national sociological associations, and regularly discussed at ISA (and especially in RC 34) since 2012, ‘The Handbook on the Sociology of Youth in the BRICS countries’ (2017) examines nine themes in each country: demographics, youth research, identity and generation, consumption and leisure, family, marriage and sexuality, politics, education and work, new technologies and the future.
We expect that contributions to this session will relate to the following observations:
1) How the assumed universality of certain widely accepted Western concepts is relativized in the handbook, e.g. Erikson’s moratorium, school-to-work transition…
2) Some concepts seem to work well in both the West and the BRICS, e.g. theory of generations, age-class system, inequality…
3) New phenomena appear, sometimes with great force. Some may have already been detected in the West (e.g. Aids/HIV, NEETs…), whereas others are may not have Western equivalents (e.g. Hukou system, corruption, cybercrime, censorship, forced marriages, caste system, one-child policy…).
4) Over 40% of the world’s youth live in the BRICS. The construction of BRICS as a viable political entity capable of influencing the future involves not only institution-building, but massive ‘sense-making’ efforts, by politicians, intellectuals, diplomats, journalists, etc. and this session aims to make its contribution to such efforts.
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