Fifth International Conference on Geographies of Children, Youth and Families
Loughborough University, UK
25th-27th September 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 enact their social relationships, forge their identities and make their 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 and turmoil 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, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Iraq; politically repressive regimes such as North Korea, Eritrea, areas controlled by Islamic State; and, increasingly draconian regimes in many countries. In North Africa and the Middle East the hopes of the Arab Spring (a youthful movement, Jeffrey, 2013) have often been replaced by conflict, chaos and repression, in which Western countries are deeply implicated, either for their political and economic connections, or lack of sustained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. Most young people (aged 18-25) did not vote for these reactionary political movements, which are often tied to increasingly intolerant and exclusionary tones of debate surrounding migration, race/ethnicity, religion, education, gender, and so on.
These current challenges encroach upon young people’s lives and experiences within a host of interconnected arenas: playing and socialising, education, everyday spaces, transitions to adulthood, livelihoods, health and wellbeing. We welcome broad discussion and debate about the many contributions that geographical approaches to social studies of/with children, youth and families can make to addressing these challenges. How young people and families will be affected by, respond to and negotiate these challenges 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 important questions to discuss.
Contributions can include: papers, posters, sessions, workshops or alternative formats.
Please submit abstracts (max 200 words) or specialist sessions, including up to five abstracts per session for paper sessions, to ICGCYF17@lboro.ac.uk by Monday 6th February.
The RGS-IBG Geographies of Children, Youth & Families Research Group are providing 5 x £100 bursaries for postgraduate delegates. To apply, full details of the bursaries and an application form are available on the GCYFRG website: https://gcyfrg.wordpress.com/
Loughborough is well served by regular scheduled flights to East Midlands Airport (7 miles away) and a direct train service from London St Pancras International (1hr 13 mins): http://www.lboro.ac.uk/about/find-us/
Jeffrey, C. (2013). Geographies of children and youth III: Alchemists of the revolution? Progress in Human Geography, 37(1), 145-152.