25 Years

Subjects, Objects, Agents: Young People’s Lives and Livelihoods in the Global South

The goal of this collaborative research circle, started in 2013, is to bring together an interdisciplinary group of faculty and doctoral students to explore the lives of children and youth in the Global South. The group was originally comprised of scholars whose main focus is the contemporary world. We have since expanded our thematic focus temporally and geographically to include relevant historical scholarship on all geographic regions. More specifically, the circle examines the ways in which children and youth are constructed as individual subjects in a various theoretical frameworks and development discourses; as objects of policy intervention; and as active agents who act on the world and make meaning amidst conditions of social and economic marginalization. 

Samia Khatun, College of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh, October 24, 2017

Through regular workshops in which participants present their own ongoing research, as well as through interactions with visiting speakers and reading group sessions, the members of YaSOA seek to bridge the divide between theoretical and empirical research on children and youth, and to cross disciplinary borders in doing so. Each member is currently engaged in scholarship relevant to his/her discipline, but the thematic focus of the group is reflected in a set of overarching research questions:

·         How are children and youth conceptualized in social theory and how are they understood as agents in demographic, economic, and educational discourses that involve them (e.g., policies addressing work, fertility decline, economic growth, or school completion)?

·         To what extent do policies and program aimed at the improvement of the lives and prospects of young people and the protection of children’s rights recognize the intersectionality of childhood and youth with other forms of potential marginalization (including but not limited to class, gender, race, disability status, and sexual orientation)?

·         How do children and youth themselves understand their own situations and options and what strategies do they employ in different contexts to acquire an education or secure a livelihood for themselves and their families, and to make the transition to adulthood?

We use these central questions to guide the selection of invited speakers and discussions of our own research.

Yared Zeleke, Filmmaker, January 23, 2017

Contact

Deborah Levison
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
dlevison@umn.edu

MJ Maynes
History
mayne001@umn.edu

Fran Vavrus
Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development
vavru003@umn.edu

Recent Events

Daughters of the Forest Film Discussion, December 9, 2016