Visual and Cultural Identity Constructs of Global Youth and Young Adults
Situated, Embodied and Performed Ways of Being, Engaging and Belonging
This collection brings together the ideas of key global scholars focusing on the lives of youth and young adults, examining their visual and cultural identity constructs.
Embracing an international perspective encompassing the Global North and Global South, chapters explore expressions and performances of youth and young adults as shifting and entangled, in and through the clothed body, gender, sexuality, race, artistic and pedagogical making practices, in spaces and places, framed by new materialism, social media, popular and material culture. The overarching emphasis of the collection is on youth and young adults’ strategies for engaging in and with the world, becoming a someone, and belonging, in settings that include a juvenile arbitration program, an artist community, high schools, universities, families and social media.
This truly interdisciplinary and international collection will have resonance not just within cultural and media studies, but also in education, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, child and youth studies, visual culture, and communication studies.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements by Fiona Blaikie
Preface by Wayne Martino
Introduction by Fiona Blaikie
Part One: Contextualizing Embodiments in Space and Place
1. Becoming Somebody in Boys’ Schools: The Significance of Place
2. Worlding Youth: Visual and Narrative Vignettes Embodying Being, Becoming and Belonging
3. About Facing the Other: The Impression Management of LGBTQ Young Adults in Contemporary Vietnam
Helle Rydstrom and Paul Horton
4. Reconciling Divergent Realms in the Lives of Marginalized Students
Part Two: Making and Engaging
5. Boys and their Memes: Exploring Networked Homosocial Masculinity
Jessica Ringrose and Sophie Whitehead
6. Ebony and Ivory: Race, Gender, Sexuality in South African Teenage Girls’ Construction of ‘Porn Stars’
7. A TikTok Assemblage: Girlhood, Radical Media Engagement, and Parent-Child Generativity
Shauna Pomerantz and Miriam Field
8. Storied Matter: Research on Young People’s Felt, Sensed and Storied Designs
9. “I Love My Body”: Adjudicated Girls Confront Their Embodied Traumas and Idealized Female Representations Through Digital Media Making
Part Three: Becoming and Belonging
10. Becoming Professional, Being Respectable: The Politics of College Dressing in South India
Ravinder Kaur and Nandini Hebbar
11. Living a Queer Life in Vietnam
Nguyen Hoang Giang (Kevin) Le
12. Politics of Belonging Among Young Public Artists in Amman, Jordan
13. Translanguaging and Wonder: A Poetic Inquiry into Newcomer Belonging
Fiona Blaikie is Professor of Art Education and former Dean of the Faculty of Education at Brock University. She has won numerous awards, for scholarship, most recently the 2020 USSEA International Ziegfeld Award for scholarship in visual arts education. From 2015 to 2019, she was Chief Examiner of Visual Arts for the International Baccalaureate Organization. Fiona’s scholarship in visual arts education began with a focus on contested aesthetic values that frame assessment in studio art, evolving into a focus on shifting visual and cultural identity constructs encompassing social theory on the body, clothing, affect, new materialism, weak theory, and posthumanism. Fiona is a steering committee member of the Arts Education Research Institute and a member of the Posthumanism Research Institute at Brock University.
"Fiona Blaikie has assembled and edited an excellent international collection. The book highlights how youth navigate tensions between marginalities, lived realities, and the demands of school, work and family; how they ‘story’ their everyday lives, including through place-, meme-, and video-making; and their experiences of profound exclusions around race, gender and sexuality. This book feels fresh and urgent as Blaikie has ensured that diverse young people’s viewpoints and experiences figure prominently, discussed through cutting-edge critical and new materialist theorizing. The prominence of arts-based methodologies is also exciting; the art is innovative, moving, instructive and often enmeshed in the entire fabric of a chapter. I love this collection and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in current youth studies."
- Rebecca Raby, Brock University, Canada
"This collection has multiple dimensions. It contributes to debates about the geopolitics of knowledge-production by attending closely to the importance of contexts around the world. It engages with the gendered interest in subjectivities and meaning-making by introducing non-human elements and the theoretical encouragements of postmaterialism to add further complexity and angle to our understanding. It invites readers to use new concepts such as worlding to expand their appreciation of the narratives that people develop to explain themselves. It expands a lexicon of gender and of ways of seeing and looking and asks us to embrace senses, celebrating as it does, creativity, difference, light and colour."
- Robert Morrell, University of Cape Town, South Africa
"This wisely edited volume brings together a distinguished, visionary and international group of scholars engaging with some of the most significant and pressing social and cultural questions of our time. The contributors to this volume boldly orient readers to environments and expressive forms shaping people’s everyday lives within a global context. I am confident that this collection of essays will inform current and future thinking by those concerned with the creation, interrogation and dissemination of expressive culture."
Doug Blandy, University of Oregon, USA
"Fiona Blaikie’s edited anthology takes us into contemporary youth cultures through humanistic research across international contexts. These research narratives embody the voices of young people who speak about nuanced sites of engagement and belonging on their own terms from emic true-to-life perspectives. Simultaneously, these chapters also create new spaces for research and researchers, pioneering sites of reflexivity and representation which engender respect and communion rather than "othering." Blaikie’s keen insights and choices in the curation of these poignant accounts reveal young adult perspectives of authentic being, providing entry into participant worlds heretofore unexplored."
- Christine Staikidis, University of Northern Illinois, USA
"Visual and Cultural Identity Constructs of Global Youth is an anthology of the world worlding, such as youth (re)enacting with/in social media sites, schools for boys in Canada and young women in India navigating how to dress in the male-dominated engineering classrooms or girls redressing themselves in U.S. juvenile arbitration—all blending the material/physicality of embodied affect and the semiotics (sign systems of language and images) of being in and of the world. Visual and Cultural Identity Constructs of Global Youth explores what matters today to youth and young adults in the process of fostering new ontological dispositions of being and belonging in the world that counter the current socio-political agendas of hate, bullying, sexism, racism, and religious persecution. The stories matter because they attend to specific experience, place, encounters, and active engagement with the materiality of context inseparable from semiotic constructs. The anthology is a must-read primer on non-representational new materialism theory to consider how the world is affecting youth and how youth are affecting the world, and to generate speculative fabulations of possible ethical futures."
- Karen Keifer-Boyd, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
"Dr. Blaikie is to be congratulated for bringing together such a thoughtful collection of diverse voices, revealing the complexities and nuances of youth life and learning in a global context. Surprisingly, little research has been done pertaining to the communities of youth given attention in this book. Dr. Blaikie and her colleagues bring marginalized youth to the center of the discussion, which could push such research forward in important ways. The collection has some absolute gems, like O’Donoghue’s and Ringrose’s investigations of masculinities, Ivashkevich’s chapter on adjudicated girls, and McLaughlin-Alcock’s look at artists in Jordan among others. After conducting decades of youth research inside schools and out, this collection caused me to think about potential new projects, which is my criterion for the best thing a book can do for a researcher."
- Kerry Freedman, Northern Illinois University, USA
"This wonderful collection of international and inter-disciplinary chapters offer youth researchers new ways of doing situated, ethical, political and response-able research on mediated youth cultures. From re-storying belonging via poetic inquiry with refugee youth to addressing the embodied traumas of idealised classed and racialised femininity through digital media making with young women in a first-time offender programme, each chapter moves and transports the reader to engage with some complex micro-assemblages of youth culture across diverse spaces and places. Collectively the chapters also powerfully illustrate the necessity and challenge of weaving critical post-theories with art-ful methodologies that make the more-than of how research praxis can build to in-form more equitable worldings of a youth justice to come. This is a volume to learn from, become-with and make matter."
- EJ Renold, Cardiff University, United Kingdom