Accepted Paper:

'… and sometimes I felt ashamed to say where I am from' - The Influence of Place on Young Cartagenians' Aspirations and Social Mobility Opportunities  

Author:

Sonja Marzi (London School of Economics and Political Science)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the influence of young Colombians' place of living on their aspirations and social mobility opportunities. On example of young Colombians, aged 15-22, in Cartagena, this paper illustrate how their places create inequalities and limit their social mobility opportunities.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores the interrelation between young Colombians' negotiation of possible future selves and the influence of their everyday places and spaces, in particular their neighbourhoods. It seeks to increase an understanding of how young Colombians, aged 15-22, in Cartagena, relate to their neighbourhood and how its opportunity structures enable or constraint the young Cartagenians' social and physical (im)mobility. Cartagena is described as a city of contrasts, especially between 'rich' and 'poor' neighbourhoods as well as unequal opportunities structures due to its highly segregated society. I will present cases of young Cartagenians, living in marginalised neighbourhoods of the city, and illustrate on their examples how their places of living create inequalities. In particular I explore how the neighbourhood, its location within the city and belonging to it and its community can enable or constrain young people to be able to take advantage of social mobility opportunities such as having access to educational and occupational opportunities. Therefore this paper will present cases of young Cartagenians, living in marginalised neighbourhoods of the city, and illustrate on their examples how they navigate towards their desired future selves. Theoretically I draw on the neighbourhood effects literature and on Vigh's concept of social navigation. This approach generates insights by exploring the role of a segregated social environment with its neighbourhood influences shaping young people's present and future identities as well as through external opportunities structures to achieve upward social mobility.

Panel L01
The dynamics of youth inequalities: aspirations, agency and multidimensional poverty (Paper)