Telling Young Lives: Portraits of Global Youth

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9781592139316: Telling Young Lives: Portraits of Global Youth
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Telling Young Lives presents more than a dozen fascinating, ethnograph-ically informed portraits of young people facing rapid changes in society and politics from different parts of the world. From a young woman engaged in agricultural labor in the High Himalayas to a youth activist based in Tanzania, the distinctive voices from the U.K., India, Germany, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Bosnia Herzegovina, provide insights into the active and creative ways these youths are addressing social and political challenges such as war, hunger and homelessness.

Telling Young Lives has great appeal for classroom use in geography courses and makes a welcome contribution to the growing field of “young geographies,” as well as to politics and political geography. Its focus on individual portraits gives readers a fuller, more vivid picture of the ways in which global changes are reshaping the actual experiences and strategies of young people around the world.

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About the Author:

Craig Jeffrey is Associate Professor in Geography and International Studies, University of Washington. He is the co-author (with Patricia Jeffery and Roger Jeffery) of Degrees Without Freedom? Education, Masculinities and Unemployment in North India.

Jane Dyson is Affiliate Assistant Professor at the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington.

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Jeffrey and Dyson, professors at the University of Washington, have collected a series of portraits of young people between the ages of 16 and 30 that connect their personal stories to larger political and sociological narratives. The 13 vignettes that make up the book document the lives of young people from around the globe, including diary entries and photos taken by the subjects. The editors have been careful to include examples from a variety of regions, such as the rural Himalayas, urban Edinburgh and the streets of New York City. Each chapter provides insight not only into the life being examined but also the youth's political and social milieu. Many provide helpful, if limited, historical context for those unfamiliar with the details of apartheid South Africa or the Balkan conflicts, while personalizing themes of globalization, alienation and changing modes of political participation. The book has an obvious critical theory bent; while eschewing most jargon and cumbersome academic citations, the editors acknowledge the influence of postcolonial and feminist approaches to knowledge construction. The range of subjects and the accessibility of the writing make this a valuable complement to more theoretical texts and undeniably useful in the classroom. (Oct.)
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