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ERIC Number: EJ865392
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
Youth Studies, Comparative Inquiry, and the Local/Global Problematic
McLeod, Julie
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v31 n4 p270-292 2009
The field of youth studies appears to have increasingly taken on a self-consciously "international" orientation, characterized by grappling with how to represent local youth identities and social practices within international, transnational, or global contexts. This challenge is repeated across many different types of study and worked through in a variety of ways. A common thread, however, is that young people's identities and lives today must or should be understood with reference to global phenomena and frameworks, and in terms of how they negotiate and are formed in the intersection of local and global contexts. In this essay, the author attempts to understand the "systems of reason" (Popkewitz 2001) and lines of thinking that underpin how young people are researched, reported, and represented, reflects on what the growing and widespread interest in the local/global relation offers youth researchers, and addresses the role of comparative inquiry in youth studies scholarship, particularly in relation to the ascendency of the local/global comparison. This article begins a critical mapping of the dominant modes of thought that characterize the field of contemporary youth studies in education and offers an initial attempt to delineate some key features. The essay first notes debates regarding limitations as well as new directions in comparative inquiry, with particular attention to educational research--a field centrally concerned with youth and young people. It then reviews recent youth research that examines the impact of globalization on youth experience and identity and in various ways engages with the local/global dualism as both empirical context and conceptual framework. The discussion draws out some of the strengths of this framework and the interesting and important lines of analysis it has generated; it also, however, attends to some of the challenges this dualism presents, especially with regard to the category and level of the nation. Third, drawing on a longitudinal study it conducted of Australian secondary school students, it raises some issues regarding the salience of national differences and specificities and the analytic challenge and value of attempting to keep local, national, and global levels in focus when researching youth identities. Overall, the article proposes that an important and fruitful direction for youth studies is to cultivate more historically enriched approaches, both to researching "young people today" and to analyzing its own intellectual history, including the lineage and effects of its truth claims and structuring dualisms.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia