Preface by Paul Willis
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.
17 Politics of Urban Diasporized Youth and Possibilities for Belonging
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The unabated influx of Diasporized youth within the flotsam of colonial empire has given rise to a range of complex experiences regarding youth, Diaspora, and the interplay of colonial modernities. Diaspora and youth studies have emerged as disciplines that critically engage these politics. These disciplines also contribute to understanding how diverse bodies, spaces, and lived experiences of the ‘Other’ have come to be textually framed through counter-narratives. This chapter seeks to understand the experiences of diverse Urban Diasporized youth that have historically emerged through the Caribbean Diaspora, and who, through struggle and resiliency, have worked to change social conditions that carry the vestiges of colonialism. As part of the larger fields of Diaspora and youth studies, this chapter queries the transatlantic experiences of Urban Diasporized youth who emerged from the Caribbean Diaspora in order to understand the particular cultural practices they engage to come to know the self and to understand what it means to be human as they negotiate their contemporary political and cultural landscapes within schooling and education. The study of these Urban Diasporized youth provides alternative ways of knowing and understanding how youth come to actualize the self, and what it means to belong to the nation-state that are relevant for youth studies and critical social theory. It offers different ways of interpreting citizenry as experienced in Western culture, which could inform transformative practices for social science research. Understanding this diverse form of knowledge can help educators and policymakers re-conceptualize learning in the context of conventional education...
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