Two decades have now passed since the revolutions of 1989 swept through Eastern Europe and precipitated the collapse of state socialism across the region, engendering a period of massive social, economic and political transformation. This book explores the ways in which young people growing up in post-socialist Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union negotiate a range of identities and transitions in their personal lives against a backdrop of thoroughgoing transformation in their societies. Drawing upon original empirical research in a range of countries, the book's contributors explore the various freedoms and insecurities that have accompanied neo-liberal transformation in post-socialist countries - in spheres as diverse as consumption, migration, political participation, volunteering, employment and family formation - and examine the ways in which they have begun to re-shape different aspects of young people's lives. In addition, while 'social change' is a central theme of the issue, all of the chapters in the collection indicate that the new opportunities and risks faced by young people continue both to underpin and to be shaped by familiar social and spatial divisions, not only within and between the countries addressed, but also between 'East' and 'West'.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Journal of Youth Studies.
1. Introduction: Youth and social change in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Charles Walker, University of Southampton & Svetlana Stephenson, London Metropolitan University. 2. The post-revolutionary consumer generation: ‘mainstream’ youth and the paradox of choice in the Czech Republic, Michaela Pyšňáková, Masaryk University, Czech Republic & Steven Miles, University of Brighton. 3. Creating reflexive volunteers? Young people's participation in Czech hospital volunteer programmes, Rosie Read, University of Bournemouth. 4. Young people and migration from contemporary Poland, Anne White, University of Bath. 5. From ‘inheritance’ to individualization: disembedding working-class youth transitions in post-Soviet Russia, Charles Walker, University of Southampton 6. Concepts of citizenship, social and system integration among young people in post-Soviet Moldova, Pamela Abbott, University of Aberdeen, Claire Wallace, University of Aberdeen, Marianna Mascauteanu, Independent Sociological Research Institute, Chisinau, Moldova & Roger Sapsford, National University of Rwanda. 7. Ukrainian youth and civic engagement: unconventional participation in local spaces, Antonina Tereshchenko, University of Cambridge. 8. ‘Rocking the vote’: new forms of youth organisations in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Donnacha Ó Beacháin, Dublin City University & Abel Polese University of Edinburgh.