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Critical Youth Studies Reader

Preface by Paul Willis

Edited By Awad Ibrahim and Shirley R. Steinberg

This book won the 2014 AESA (American Educational Studies Association) Critics Choice Award.

This reader begins a conversation about the many aspects of critical youth studies. Chapters in this volume consider essential issues such as class, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, cultural capital, and schooling in creating a dialogue about and a conversation with youth. In a society that continues to devalue, demonize, and pathologize young women and men, leading names in the academy and youth communities argue that traditional studies of youth do not consider young people themselves. Engaging with today’s young adults in formal and informal pedagogical settings as an act of respect, social justice, and transgression creates a critical pedagogical path in which to establish a meaningful twenty-first century critical youth studies.
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6 Youth: Multiple Connectivities, New Temporalities,and Early Nostalgia

← 57 | 58 →CHAPTER 6


People just don’t know that we are not all gangbangers or drugdealersWe are people tooWe did not all cross the boarderfor some of us the boarder crossed usWe don’t always go looking for trubletruble sometimes comes to usSo you can’t say you know mecause you don’tYou don’t know where I’m coming fromand you don’t know where I’m going.(Julio, 14 years old, quoted in Leccardi & Ruspini, 2006, p. 98).

Youth: an obscure, uncertain life stage, replete with insecurity and instability? Youth: a phase of ­irresponsibility, anxiety, alienation, risky experiences and violence? Youth, after all: is youth always a problem? Commonsense seems to insist on a discourse associating the young individual with someone lost in a dark hall with whom only the light of the adult world has been left—a world of balance and autonomy, quite far from the uncertain, tortuous places and times this individual has experienced. From Julio, the Italian student quoted in the epigraph, we can perceive a request, which is probably similar to what many 15-to-25-year-old Brazilians would make, to disrupt such commonsense discursivity. We live at a different moment, and utterances about “being young” should certainly be revised, considering the new temporalities we experience, particularly, in our daily contact with images, media texts, and different kinds of virtual communication.

In this chapter,1 we explore forms of sociability and digital connectivity among contemporary youth in Brazil, by focusing on the discussion about time and temporalities. First, we discuss some relevant...

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