Youth Politics in Urban Asia examines how young people’s political actions in Asia are the product of their urban realities, and at the same time, appreciates that young people are striving to remake these urban spaces in a myriad of tangible and intangible ways. The book explores the ways in which urban development and urban governance in Asia enable or constrain young people’s citizenship, aspirations, and responses to a variety of socioeconomic and political issues in the region.
Informed by qualitative and ethnographic approaches, featuring locales ranging from Pune to Shanghai, the chapters broadly address three themes: the variegated ways in which youth politics is constituted and has manifested in Asian cities; the role of cities in shaping and mediating youth politics in Asia; and whether it is possible to conceive of youth politics across urban Asia as diverse and specific, but also structurally entangled. In examining how young people’s political performances and social actions are shaped by, and conversely, shape, Asian urban spaces, this collection advances a deeper understanding of the interplay of youth politics and urban environments. It will be an essential text for scholars and students interested in young people’s politics, urban studies, and social change in Asia.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal Space and Polity.
Table of Contents
Preface: youth, politics, and the city during the pandemic Youth politics in urban Asia: an introduction 1. Urban custodians and hospitable citizens: citizenship and social actions at two liberal arts universities in Hong Kong and Shanghai 2. Politicizing youth in South Korea – the role of Seoul’s educational institutions 3. Feminist politicization of the urban: young female students challenging spatial patriarchies 4. Maps, movements and mobilities: Facebook and ‘checking-In’ among young men in Pune, India 5. ‘The path you will choose won’t be a fairy tale’: urban prefiguration and mountain nostalgia in India’s Northwest Himalayas 6. Reclaiming urban narratives: spatial politics and storytelling amongst Hong Kong youths 7. New forms of youth activism — Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Bill movement in the local-national-global nexus Afterword: political triangulations: urban Asian youth politics amidst geopolitical, geoeconomic and geosocial tensions
Yi’En Cheng is a Research Fellow at Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. His research attends to implications of higher education change on young people’s citizenship and their experiences of mobility and immobility, with a focus on East and Southeast Asia.
Sonia Lam-Knott is a Research Affiliate at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford. Her research addresses the interplay of politics, history, and space in contemporary Asian cities, with emphasis on Hong Kong.