Congratulations to our colleague Alexis Peirce Caudell for their acceptance into the Fifth International Conference on Geographies of Children, Youth and Families. She will be representing the CCS group at Loughborough University in the UK from September 25th-27th, 2017.
The theme for the Fifth International Conference in the series (following Reading, Barcelona, Singapore, San Diego) is New Geographies of young people and families in an era of global uncertainty. Young people and families are at the sharp edge of a range of contemporary global challenges: climate change, economic crises, conflict and persecution, terrorism, poverty, and migration. Young people seek to have space to be children and young people, and to forge their identities and transitions in an increasingly uncertain world. These interconnected global challenges are expressed in specific ways in particular, inter-linked, s/places.
Many countries are facing flux, uncertainty, conflict and chaos ranging from: the economic and political woes in Brazil; economic crises in Venezuela, Argentina, Southern Europe; to conflicts/destabilised states and civil society in Syria, Ukraine, Somalia, South Sudan, The Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Iraq; politically repressive regimes such as Eritrea and areas controlled by Islamic State; and, increasingly draconian regimes in Russia, many Middle Eastern Countries, Turkey, Thailand, Ethiopia. In North Africa and the Middle East the hopes of the Arab Spring (a youthful movement, Jeffrey, 2013) have often been replaced by conflict, chaos and repression, in which Western countries are deeply implicated, either for their political and economic connections, or lack of sustained support.
Recent tumultuous political events in the USA and Europe (e.g. Presidential election, Brexit) are widely perceived to be a reaction to a sense of being ‘left behind’ among some groups in these relatively affluent, but unequal, societies in the wake of global challenges; however, this conceals political choices over welfare and taxation systems, such as Austerity. These have been tied to increasingly intolerant and exclusionary tones of debate surrounding migration, race/ethnicity, religion, education, gender, and so on. The vast majority of young people (aged 18-25) did not vote for these reactionary movements.
These current challenges encroach upon young people’s lives and experiences within a host of interconnected arena: playing and socialising, education, everyday spaces, transitions to adulthood, livelihoods, health and wellbeing. We welcome broad discussion and debate about the many contributions a geographical approach to social studies of children, youth and families can make to addressing these challenges, often working with the creative and innovative ways that children, youth, families and other key actors respond. How young people and families will be affected in similar ways or differently according to factors such as: ‘national’ identity, freedom (or otherwise) to travel, ‘social class’, relative affluence or poverty, gender, (dis)ability, sexuality, ethnicity/race, religion and so on, are questions to discuss. (Source)