‘Children, Young People and Changing Urban Spaces’
3rd and 4th September 2014
Centre for Children and Youth, University of Northampton, UK

A conference on Children, Young People and Changing Urban Spaces will be held at the University of Northampton on 3rd and 4th September 2014. The conference will bring together new, multidisciplinary research exploring the lives, issues and experiences of children, young people and families in diverse, international urban contexts. A keynote speech will be given by Tracey Skelton (National University of Singapore).

Further information about the conference, and details of how to register, can be found here: http://cypchangingurbanspaces.com/

Making the ‘Precariat’: Unemployment, Insecurity and Work-Poor Young Adults in Harsh Economic Conditions
Free One Day Conference at the University of Leicester
July 14th 2014

In the UK, as well as in other parts of Europe, levels of unemployment among young people are disturbing. Youth unemployment is higher now than at any time since the 1980s recession (ONS, 2012), affecting over a million 16-24 year-olds with significantly higher rates among vulnerable populations such as early school-leavers.

“Making the ‘Precariat’: Unemployment, Insecurity and Work-Poor Young Adults in Harsh Economic Conditions” is a one day conference addressing issues surrounding youth unemployment. Taking place at College Court, Leicester, the conference will showcase collaborate work carried out with staff from the University of Glasgow, funded by the ERSC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (Professor Andy Furlong, Glasgow; Professor John Goodwin, Leicester; Professor Henrietta O’Connor, Leicester).

Speakers include: Professor David Ashton, Professor Melanie Simms (Leicester) and Professor Ann Berrington (Southampton)

For more information on the event or to book a place, please visit the conference page here (http://www2.le.ac.uk/conference/precariat/making-the-2018precariat2019-unemployment-insecurity-and-work-poor-young-adults-in-harsh-economic-conditions).

If you are unable to attend the conference, you can still join the discussion on Twitter by following @ukyouthresearch

And to complete this clear out of things that were in my inbox that looked too interesting not to share:

Youth activism and resistance conference, Friday 13th June 2014, University of Leicester, UK

On Friday 13th of June the University of Leicester will be hosting one of the British Sociological Association’s Regional Postgraduate Events. The theme of this one day conference will be ‘Youth Activism and Resistance’. The keynote presenters for this event are:

Dr Leah Bassel, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Leicester, who will be presenting on “Riots and resistance: what spaces for young voices?

Dr Jacqui Briggs, Head of School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lincoln, who will be presenting on “Young women and politics: an oxymoron or a neglected generation?

There will be three parallel sessions run on the day in which a range of topics will be explored, including: young people’s political engagement and expression; political education; the development of critical leadership; youth involvement in international political affairs; graffiti as a form of political expression. We will also be hosting a roundtable discussion featuring contributions from young activists, academics and postgraduates.

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome student and academic members of the BSA Youth Study Group to attend the event. More information about the event can be accessed at the following website:


On the day, lunch and full refreshments will be provided. The event will also culminate in an art exhibition and wine reception that explores youth activism through the medium of the political poster. Registration for BSA members is £10 and for non-BSA members is £25. You can register at the following website:


The deadline for registration is Friday 6th June.

If you have any questions about the event please contact Rose Holyoak (reh28@le.ac.uk) and/or Oli Williams (osw1@le.ac.uk). We very much hope to see you there.




Thursday 12th – Friday 13th June 2014

We are inviting abstracts for a Two day Conference at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, UK on behalf of the Inclusion Equalities and Social Justice Theme and the Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities.

We are seeking papers which challenge the dominant ideologies and notions of social justice that are driving current changes in social and educational policy. We are particularly interested in papers which explore social justice in relation to marginalised young people, including those from education, health and social care, social policy, sociology and criminology disciplines. We are also interested in papers exploring innovative research methods with young people. Issues for papers include:

• Impact of poverty and inequality on young people

• Marginalisation of young people

• Use of innovative research methods

• Role of education in reproducing inequality

• Pedagogies of inclusion in schools and universities

• Diverse identities of young people, including:

• Gender

• Sexuality

• Ethnicity

• Children in care.

Proposals of 300 words are invited for consideration for 20 minute papers (followed by 10 minutes for questions and discussion).

Please submit abstracts to: Charmian Cowie: charmian.cowie@canterbury.ac.uk

For informal enquiries, contact Professor Shane Blackman: shane.blackman@canterbury.ac.uk

Closing date for submissions: Friday 14 February 2014

I came across this interesting little post on Becker’s site earlier this week. It’s worth a quick read for anyone interested in youth studies and/or Becker’s work. HT Kip Jones for the video of Becker playing at an ASA conference.

Everyone (at least everyone above a certain age) knows–it is no more than common sense–that, in every historical era, “youth” cause all, or certainly most, of the troubles of the world. They have no respect for tradition or authority, they do things which harm them physically and, especially, mentally: alcohol and drugs, but also (depending on the era) spending too much time at the movies, watching television, or playing computer games. They take too many chances. They aren’t prudent. They are always a major pain in the ass and it is because of them that our country and the whole world are going to hell. […]

Young people usually get blamed for society’s troubles. (Said it before, I’ll say it again. Can’t say it too often.) Students don’t work hard enough. That’s why they don’t learn what they should. Yes? Maybe not. Maybe teachers and schools don’t teach properly. Maybe that’s why students don’t learn what someone wants them to.

* * *

Try that out in some area you know about. I did, with this result. Older jazz players complain that younger players “don’t know any tunes,” that is, the tunes the older players grew up playing and regard as the minimal repertoire a literate player must have. It’s true, the younger players often don’t know all those songs, and that makes trouble when a hastily assembled musical group has to perform without rehearsal.

* * *

Older players, however, don’t know the more complex compositions younger players grow up on. But, since older players have more control over employment and performance opportunities, this makes less trouble for collective performances. The older players needn’t know the newer compositions. They can just say “No, we won’t play that.”

* * *

Symmetry: Both groups “don’t know any tunes,” so you can’t use that observation as a “fact” that explains what’s wrong with younger players and why the music business is going to hell.

* * *

Symmetry pays off in a better understanding of the situation, which is good whether you are a sociologist trying to understand social organization, a musicologist trying to understand the development of a musical genre, or a jazz player trying to get along in the world of contemporary jazz.

* * *

“Youth” is a relational term. It doesn’t describe a stable characteristic of someone or some group. It tells you where that person or group stands in relation to some other people or some other group. “Youth” are older than “teenagers” but younger than “adults.” That’s a possible meaning. But this innocuous relational description carries other, less innocent, less symmetrical, and less neutral overtones we should be wary of.


British Sociological Association Youth Study Group

Research Development Workshop for Research Students and Early Career Researchers

BSA Seminar Room, Imperial Wharf, London, Thursday 7th November 2013

The BSA Youth Study Group invites research students and early career researchers working on or with an interest any aspect of youth research to attend a research development workshop.

Building on similar previous events, the purpose of the day is to provide a platform for researchers to present their work in a supportive, constructive and intellectually stimulating environment. Researchers with work at any stage of the research process are welcome to present their ideas, findings or concerns of navigating the field.

Whether planning to present at the BSA annual conference (or any conference or seminar for that matter!), refining ideas and questions through the literature review, or preparing to seek out avenues to disseminate your work in journals in the field, the day will provide a safe space for participants to receive feedback and help them develop their research in a range of different ways.

The process will be supported by advice and guidance offered by established scholars in the fields of Sociology of Youth and Youth Studies.

The day will also provide a useful networking opportunity to meet other people researching in similar fields. With this in mind, delegates not wishing to present but who would like to take part in an observational capacity or share and discuss their ideas more informally are very much encouraged to attend.

Places are limited, but every effort will be made to include as many presenters as we can.

If you are interested in presenting your work at this event, please email a very brief outline of your research (maximum 150 words) and an indication of your stage of research and the primary issues you would like to develop (presentation skills/ content, refining questions, dissemination etc) to s.d.roberts-26@kent.ac.uk before September 5th, 2013. This will enable us to cluster or stream the presentations effectively.

Similarly, if you wish to attend without presenting or have any other questions about attending the event please feel free to email.

Fee: BSA Member £15 / Non Member £25

Hope to see many of you in November.

Dr Steve Roberts, University of Kent

BSA Youth Study Group Co-convenor