Thinking about Belonging in Youth Studies

Harris, A., Cuervo, H., Wyn, J. 2021. Thinking about belonging in youth studies. Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Makes complex ideas about new developments in the field of youth studies accessible
  • Further develops the concept of belonging as applied to areas of central interest in youth studies: citizenship, place and mobility, transitions and youth policy
  • Sets new agendas for research and policy

Read more about the book in Palgrave's  Social Science Matters campaign.

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Book cover: Youth and the New Adulthood - Generations of Change

Youth and the New Adulthood: Generations of Change

Wyn, J., Cahill, H., Woodman, D., Cuervo, H., Leccardi, C., Chesters, J. (Editors), 2020. Youth and the New Adulthood: Generations of Change. Springer:  Singapore.

This book investigates the life trajectories of Generation X and Y Australians through the 1990s and 2000s. The book defies popular characterizations of members of the ‘precarious generations’ as greedy, narcissistic and self-obsessed, revealing instead that many of the members of these generations struggle to reach the standard of living enjoyed by their parents, value learning highly and are increasingly concerned about the environment and the legacy current generations are leaving for their children and remain optimistic in the face of considerable challenges. Drawing on data from the Life Patterns longitudinal study of Australian youth (an internationally recognised study), the book tells the story of members of these ‘precarious generations’. It examines significant dimensions of young people’s lives across time, comparing how domains such as health and well-being, education, work and relationships intersect to produce the complex outcomes that characterize the lives of members of each of these generations. It also explores the strategies these generations use to make their lives and the ways in which they remain resilient. While the book is based on Australian data, the analysis draws on and contributes to the international literature on young people and social change.

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Book cover: Youth and society. Image: Young woman with dyed hair

Youth and Society: Exploring the Social Dynamics of Youth Experience

White, R., Wyn, J., & Robards, B. 2017. Youth and Society: Exploring the Social Dynamics of Youth Experience (4th Edition) Oxford University Press: Melbourne.

Youth and Society is the most accessible and comprehensive textbook on the sociology of youth. Now in its fourth edition, it has been significantly revised to reflect the latest research in an overview of key debates, research and theories of how young people fit into contemporary society. Led by an expert author team, the new edition provides a comprehensive overview of youth studies. Using both Australian and global examples, the book takes a holistic approach to the concept of youth and how they shape their lives. The new edition comprises four new chapters: Chapter 2: Ways of Knowing, Chapter 6: Place and Mobilities, Chapter 13: Networked Youth and Social Media and Chapter 14: Chemical Cultures. New pedagogical features including key terms and case studies assist students in their learning and engagement.

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Book cover: Youth and Generation: Rethinking change and inequality in the lives of young people. Image: abstract graphic

Youth and Generation: Rethinking change and inequality in the lives of young people

Woodman, D., and Wyn, J. 2015. Youth and Generation: Change and Inequality in the Lives of Young People. Sage: London.

The promise if youth studies is not simply in showing that class, gender and race continue to influence life chances, but to show how they shape young lives today. Engaging with the central debates in contemporary youth studies, Dan Woodman and Johanna Wyn argue that understanding new forms of inequality in a context of social change is a central challenge for youth researchers. Youth and Generation sets an agenda for youth studies building on the concepts of 'social generation' and 'individualisation' that have been central to the analysis of the Life Patterns longitudinal study, to suggest a framework for thinking about change and inequality in young lives in the new century.

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Book cover: Handbook of Childhood and Youth Studies

Handbook of Childhood and Youth Studies

Wyn, J., and Cahill, H. (Eds) 2015. Handbook of Childhood and Youth Studies. Springer: Singapore.

This handbook gives a new scientific perspective to youth and childhood studies as multi scientific and interdisciplinary subjects which as such have not yet found their own framing in a particular discipline. It provides theoretical and methodological key debates and issues that develop and add an understanding of childhood and youth research discipline from a broader perspective. The Handbook on Children and Youth Studies draws on current thinking, but also challenges theoretical and conceptual orthodoxies in the field, drawing on interdisciplinary thinking and critical perspectives. It focuses on childhood and youth to address the emerging consensus that the boundaries between childhood, youth and adulthood are blurred. The view that defining youth and childhood largely in terms of problem topics is out dated. Instead, the handbook focuses on 13 themes that are open to international perspectives and to different conceptual approaches. Each theme is edited by a pair of field editors, thereby capturing a plurality of views. The 13 themes as a starting point are globally timely and they need scientific debates on the boundaries between childhoods, youth and adulthood. This handbook will meet the needs of childhood and youth researchers and the academics in the field. It recognizes the changing social context of the lives of children and young people, while developing theoretical frameworks and discussing about the core substantive issues of Children and Youth Studies.

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Book cover: Young people making it work. Image: Woman sitting beside country road on laptop

Young people making it work: continuity and change in rural places

Cuervo, H., and Wyn, J. 2012. Young People Making it Work: Continuity and Change in Rural Places, Melbourne University Publishing: Melbourne.

This book examines a generation's lives in rural Australia over the last two decades. Against a backdrop of dramatic social, economic and environmental change, it tells the story of how a generation of young people have strived to remain connected to the people and places that matter to them. It transcends the assumption that rural places are one of deficit and disadvantage to focus on the ways in which powerful narratives of belonging are conceptualised. Cuervo and Wyn provide new insights about youth transitions and young adulthood that are relevant not only to the rural context but to all young people.

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Book cover: For we are young and… Young people in a time of uncertainty

For we are young and…? Young people in a time of uncertainty

Beadle, S., Holdsworth, R and Wyn J. (Eds). 2011. For we are young and…? Young people in a time of uncertainty. Melbourne University Publishing: Melbourne.

For we are young and… Young people in a time of uncertainty. Melbourne University Publishing: Melbourne. For we are young and ...? offers a provocative perspective on Australia's young people against a global and local backdrop of uncertainty and change. It asserts the importance of a critically informed and positive approach to youth, moving beyond seeing young people through the lens of shortcomings and problems to be solved. For we are young and ...? draws directly on the work of the Youth Research Centre at The University of Melbourne and its legacy of innovative and significant research on young Australians. Opening with the theoretical context of youth research, the book draws on contemporary examples to discuss new conceptual and research approaches; the ways in which young people participate in change and the challenges and possibilities that are presented by current conditions. For we are young and ...? identifies emerging issues and future directions for youth research, policy and professional practice.

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Book cover: The Making of a Generation. Image: abstract painting

The Making of a Generation: Children of the 1970s in Adulthood

Andres, L. Wyn, J. 2010. The Making of a Generation: The Children of the 1970s in Adulthood. University of Toronto Press: Toronto.

Lesley Andres and Johanna Wyn draw on fifteen years of research with the first cohort of the Life Patterns study of young Australians and the Paths on Life’s Way study of young Canadians. It seeks to answer the question of how a generation is made. The two longitudinal data bases enable a unique analysis of the evolution of a generation over time at both the micro and macro levels. It shows how new inequalities are shaped, how education has become a proxy for class and how this generation has had to become proactive, flexible and motivated.

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youth health welfare

Youth Health and Welfare: The Cultural Politics of Education and Wellbeing

Wyn, J. 2009. Youth Health and Welfare: The Cultural Politics of Education and Wellbeing. Oxford University Press: South Melbourne.

Youth, Health and Welfare provides a critical, policy and practice-orientated inter-disciplinary perspective on the changing nature of young people's lives, and its impact on their health and wellbeing. The book draws on the latest research from a variety of Australian and international sources, to introduce current debates and theoretical ideas, analyse key health and wellbeing issues, examine the challenges for health and education professionals and review the ways in which health and educational approaches impact on youth. The focus throughout is on young people's experiences, priorities and attitudes in relation to risk, wellbeing and health in a changing world.

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