This comprehensive volume explores the remarkable expansion of higher education systems and institutions in Asia in recent decades, alongside changing forms of consumerism, mobility and global economic conditions. It demonstrates how recent changes in training, education and employment have sparked new aspirations for possible and desirable livelihoods among the younger generation, while also generating fresh problems and tensions.
The authors in this volume critically interrogate the links between education and employment; normative understandings about youth and adulthood; as well as personal, national and regional level aspirations for economic ‘success’. Comparative chapters on Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Nepal, Singapore and Taiwan illustrate how young people are having to forge innovative pathways into the future, while being confronted with ever increasing insecurities. Offering important insights into the kinds of education and employment landscapes that Asian youth are navigating, reworking or trying to avoid, this collection is an essential reference for students and scholars of Asian Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Development Studies, Human Geography and Youth Studies.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal Children’s Geographies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Youthful futures? Aspirations, education and employment in Asia
Suzanne Naafs and Tracey Skelton
2. From water to tears: extra-curricular activities and the search for substance in China’s universities
3. Learning by ‘design’: how undergraduates in Singapore learn to become engineers
Arthur C. K. Chia and Mihye Cho
4. Rural youth and urban-based vocational training: gender, space and aspiring to ‘become someone’
Lyda Chea and Roy Huijsmans
5. Youth aspirations and employment in provincial Indonesia: a view from the lower middle classes
6. ‘Every household will be a micro-enterprise’: a youth micro-loan scheme’s role in restructuring Nepal
7. The precarious and the transitional: labor casualization and youth in post-bubble Japan
Colin S. Smith
8. Opportunities, challenges, and transitions: educational aspirations of Pakistani migrant youth in Hong KongWai-chi Chee
9. Globalised Dreams, Local Constraints: Migration and Youth Aspirations in an Indian Regional Town
Trent Brown, Timothy J. Scrase and Ruchira Ganguly-Scrase
10. Sunflowers, youthful protestors and political achievements: lessons from Taiwan
Yu-Chieh Hsieh and Tracey Skelton
Suzanne Naafs is a Lecturer at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology/Development Sociology at Leiden University, the Netherlands.
Tracey Skelton is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore, and Visiting Professor at Loughborough University, UK.