How Young People Are Reshaping the World - a University Symposium

7 June 2011

"Young Lives, Changing Times" looks at how young people provide a window onto broad socio-political and economic transformations. It will focus on young lives and their place in reshaping contemporary society - in cosmopolitan societies and in more marginal locations.

As symposium convenor Professor Gillian Cowlishaw explains, "The symposium, which is cross-disciplinary, sees children as neither victims nor autonomous agents but looks at their roles across a broad range of contexts."

Co-convenor Dr Ute Eickelkamp notes further that, "In Indigenous Australia, across the Pacific region, and in some parts of Asia and Africa, young people have become the majority population, at a time when postcolonial nation-building, global economic restructuring, urbanization and modernization are changing these societies.

"In these places, within the constraints of the system, young people are the active drivers of change, often in the face of extreme hardship and violence. Young people can have an important influence on everything from gender relations to structures of authority. By contrast many Western societies have ageing populations and young people occupy a different place and exert less influence."

The symposium will examine the spectrum of societies and roles that young people inhabit.

The Keynote Speakers for the symposium are:

Associate Professor Gary Robinson, from the Menzies School of Health Research and Charles Darwin University, currently works in the School for Social and Policy Research. The State, Cultural Competence and Child Development: Perspectives on Intervention in the North of Australia looks at how one challenge for the intervention is that it is operating in a situation where the ratio of young Aboriginal people to older people remains extremely high and social change is ongoing.

Professor Cindi Katz Professor of Geography in Environmental Psychology and Women's Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Professor Katz will discuss the place of children in societies experiencing ongoing crises associated with over-accumulation and commodification.

Other presentations include:

Professor Gillian Cowlishaw Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney. The Politics of Childhood, looks at Aboriginal childhoods including the puzzle of decreasing literacy and the continuing inability of schools to educate Aboriginal children.

Allison J. Pugh University of Virginia and the United States Study Centre, University of Sydney, will discuss research she has conducted with parents which reveals their belief they are raising "flexible" children and what the implications of that belief are for the contemporary experience of childhood and for policy decisions.

Laura Moran School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Youth on the Move: Refugees Building Identities in Multicultural AustraliaSonja von Wichelen Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney, Moral Economies of the Adoptee-Body in Globalisation

Hae Seon Jang Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney, Social Identities of Indigenous People in Their Twenties in Contemporary Australian Society.

Maria Amigo Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, School in a Foreign Land: Migrant Children Starting School in Australia.

Kirk Zwangobani Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, African Australian Youth and Dynamic Identity

Event details:

What: Young Lives Changing Times - Perspectives on Social Reproduction

Where: Lecture Theatre 104, New Law School, The University of Sydney

When: 9am to 5.30am Wednesday 8 June and 9am to 3.30pm Thursday 9 June.

Cost: $85 or $25 for Student/Non-Salaried/Pensioner

To register for the event, click here.

Contact: Media: Verity Leatherdale

Phone: 02 9351 4312

Email: 3f2c2327351a631f4a50301f07105031082810231d53252a361b0e13026c0317