Children and youth exploring uncertain realities 
Anna Streissler (University of Vienna)
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R08 (in V)
Friday 13 July, 11:30-13:15 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

Children/youth especially seem confronted by uncertain realities personally and collectively. How are they creatively dealing with their realities? We discuss ethnographies ON children/youth as well as BY children/youth.

Long Abstract

Children and youth especially seem to face uncertain realities. Personally and collectively they are in structurally weak positions in society. They often need to make far-reaching decisions about their future lifecourse (concerning e.g. education, employment, partners, peers, sex, health, lifestyle) and their views on life may quickly change. At the same time, many decisions are made for them by their families, their educators, politics etc.. For many, peer pressure and consumption trends also play vital roles. We therefore argue that their realities are especially uncertain and especially varied (or is that an adult point of view?). This may be even more so in cases of conflict, violence and poverty.

Despite these manifold constraints, children and youth are known to be pro-actively dealing with these uncertain situations, exploring creative forms of meaning-making and reinterpretation and thereby developing multifaceted competencies and knowledge in different socio-cultural contexts.

We are inviting contributions on two subtopics:

1) Ethnographies ON children/youth as exploring uncertain realities.

2) Ethnographies BY children/youth, that is, knowledge produced systematically by children/youth in certain contexts (usually framed by adults) exploring their own lifeworlds and those of their peers.

How do children/youth play with realities and (un)certainties, e.g. in "second life" and other media environments?

How do children/youth react to and make sense of uncertain realities influenced by violence?

How does research carried out by children/youth change their perception of realities and (un)certainties?

We explicitly invite young researchers to share their works-in-progress and results in our workshop.

Accepted papers: