1st Edition

Youth, Place and Theories of Belonging

Edited By Sadia Habib, Michael Ward Copyright 2019
    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    198 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives, Youth, Place and Theories of Belonging showcases cutting-edge empirical research on young people’s lifeworlds. The scholars demonstrate that belonging is personal, infused with individual and collective histories as well as interwoven with conceptions of place. In studying how young people adapt to social change the research highlights the plurality of belonging, as well as its temporal and fleeting nature.

    In the field of youth studies, we have seen a recent emphasis on studying the ways youth live out everyday multiculturalisms in an increasingly globalised world. How young people negotiate belonging in everyday life and how they come to understand their positions in fragmented societies remain emerging areas of scholarship. Composed of twelve chapters, the collection references key sites and institutions in young people’s lives such as schools, community/cultural centres, neighbourhoods and spaces of consumption. Drawing from diverse areas such as the rural, the urban as well as displacements and mobilities, this international collection enhances our understanding of the theories employed in the study of youth identity practices.

    Written in a direct and clear style, this collection of essays will be of interest to researchers working in geography, theories of affect, gender, mobility, performativities, and theories of space/place. Investigating how young people come to belong can open up new spaces and provide critical insights into young people’s identities.

    1. Introduction: investigating youth and belonging 

    2. Expanding theoretical boundaries from youth transitions to belonging and new materiality 

    3. Surveillance, belonging and community spaces for young people from refugee backgrounds in Australia 

    4. Queering Timmies: theorising LGBTQ youth claiming and making space in Surrey, BC, Canada 

    5. ‘Adults decided our fate’: children and young people navigating space, territory and conflicting identities and the ‘new’ Northern Ireland 

    6. Travel imaginaries of youth in New York City: history, ethnicity and the politics of mobility 

    7. Women, spatial scales and belonging: signalling inequality in Latin America 

    8. Brotherhood and belonging: creating pedagogic spaces for positive discourses of Aboriginal youth 

    9. Belonging without believing? Making space for marginal masculinities at the Young Men’s Christian Association in the United Kingdom and The Gambia 

    10. Precarious class positions in Spam City: youth, place and class in the ‘missing middle’

    11. Arenas of empowerment? Case study of a ‘multicultural’ high school in Oslo, Norway 

    12. Local and refugee youth in rural Australia: negotiating intercultural relationships and belonging in rural places 

    13. Politics of class and belonging in Pakistan: student learning, communities of practice and social mobility 

    14. Conclusion: youth and belonging: agency, place and negotiation


    Sadia Habib is the author of Learning and Teaching British Values: Policies and Perspectives on British Identities (2017). She has nine years of teaching experience in UK schools and colleges. She holds a PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London, UK, where she conducted arts-based educational research with young Londoners to learn about their conceptions of local, national and transnational identities and belongings, as well as to observe the critical pedagogies involved in identity work in the classroom. She is co-founder of The Riz Test and co-editor of The Bookslamist.

    Michael R. M. Ward is a Lecturer in Social Sciences at Swansea University. His work centres on the performance of working-class masculinities within and beyond educational institutions. He is the author of the award-winning book From Labouring to Learning: Working-Class Masculinities, Education and De-Industrialization (2015) and co-convener of the British Sociological Association Education Study Group. Dr Ward has held visiting scholarships in Canada, the USA, Iceland and Germany.

    "What I like about this book is that it is innovative and challenging, bringing new thinking to Youth Studies. It is taking the work on 'belonging' and 'place' to another level and showing how these concepts can help us understand young people's lives... a must read for people working in the Youth Studies field."

    Alan France, Professor of Sociology, University of Auckland

    "This is a wonderful collection of chapters theorizing the relationships between young people, place and belonging. Not only does it include researchers from a range of places around the globe, but it also includes a significant range of theoretical perspectives on belonging. More than that as well as some world-renowned youth studies scholars, it highlights the critical contributions of emerging and new researchers. A rich, illuminating and compelling read!"

    Barbara Comber, Research Professor, University of South Australia

    "In this timely and exceptional edited collection, an international set of social theorists offer up new forms and diverse ways of theorizing and connecting young people’s sense of place, space, identity and belonging; taking readers into some of the most forward-thinking provocations in sociology today."

    Pamela Burnard, Professor of Creativities, University of Cambridge