Young People in Complex and Unequal Societies

Doing Youth Studies in Spain and Latin America


Youth studies in Latin America and Spain face numerous challenges. This book delves into youth experiences in the 21st century, shaped by complex and pressing issues: the surge of youth cultures and groups, visual images of youth throughout time, and fragmented youth experiences in radically unequal societies. It analyzes young people as precarious natives in global capitalism and labor uncertainty, juvenicide, feminist discourse, social networks, intimacy and sexual affection among young people in a context of growing claims of gender equality. Also included are rural and indigenous youth as political actors, the actions of young political activists within government administrations, the experience of youth migration and empowerment, and young people dealing with the digital world. How have youth studies approached these issues in Latin America and Spain? Which were the main developments and transformations in this research field over the past years? Where is it heading?

Contributors are: Jorge Benedicto, Maritza Urteaga, Dolores Rocca, José Antonio Pérez Islas, Juan Carlos Revilla, Mariano Urraco, Almudena Moreno, Óscar Aguilera, Marcela Saá, Rafael Merino, Ana Miranda, Carles Feixa, Gonzalo Saraví, Antonio Santos-Ortega, David Muñoz-Rodríguez, Arantxa Grau-Muñoz, José Manuel Valenzuela, Silvia Elizalde, Mónica Figueras, Mittzy Arciniega, Nele Hansen, Tanja Strecker, Elisa G. de Castro, Melina Vázquez, René Unda, Daniel Llanos, Sonia Páez de la Torre, Pere Soler, Daniel Calderón, and Stribor Kuric.

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Jorge Benedicto is Full Professor of Sociology at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED, Spain). He has been a Visiting Researcher at University of Florence (Italy) and L’Observatoire Jeunes et Societé of INRS (Quebec, Canada). He specializes in research on youth, citizenship and politics. He is a former consultant of OIJ and UNDP-Honduras.

Maritza Urteaga holds a Ph.D. in Anthropological Sciences from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM, Mexico). She is a Research Professor of Postgraduate Studies in Social Anthropology at the National School of Anthropology and History. Her research focuses on anthropology of youth, urban anthropology, identity, culture and communication, cultural production, youth and affectivity.

Dolores Rocca holds a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA, Argentina) and a degree in Political Science (UBA). She is a Researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) and at the Gino Germani Research Institute (IIGG-UBA). Her research interests are political activism, youth participation, political identities, electoral campaigns, and qualitative research.

List of Illustrations

Notes on Contributors

 Introduction Studying Young People’s Lives, Understanding Complex and Diverse Societies
  Jorge Benedicto and Maritza Urteaga

part 1
Youth Studies in Latin America and Spain: Multiple Perspectives, Multiple Contexts
  Jorge Benedicto
1 Game of Glances Review of Youth Research in Latin America
  José Antonio Pérez Islas

2 40 Years of Youth Studies in Spain and Their Contribution to Social Images of Youth
  Juan Carlos Revilla and Mariano Urraco

3 The Current Theoretical Debates in Comparative Research on Young People A European Perspective
  Almudena Moreno

4 Youth Images Visual Images, Representations and Imaginaries of Young People
  Óscar Aguilera and Marcela Saá

part 2
The Life of Young People in Complex and Unequal Societies
  Maritza Urteaga
5 Youth as Transition Theoretical and Methodological Contributions to the Youth Study Field in Latin America and Spain
  Rafael Merino and Ana Miranda

6 Youth Cultures and Identities The Surfaces of the Underground
  Carles Feixa

7 The Fragmentation of Youth Experience Social Inequality and Everyday Life in Urban Latin America
  Gonzalo Saraví

8 Precarious Natives New Profiles of Precarious Young People in the Flexible Economies
  Antonio Santos-Ortega, David Muñoz-Rodríguez and Arantxa Grau-Muñoz

9 Iuvenis Sacer The Systematic Murder of Young People in Latin America
  José Manuel Valenzuela

10 Gender Relationships and Sexual Affection between Young People Reflections from the Argentine Case
  Silvia Elizalde

part 3
Diversity and Youth Agency: Young People as Actors in Society
  Jorge Benedicto and Dolores Rocca
11 Young Women as Social Actors Participation in Cultural Groups and the Feminist Empowerment of Young People in Catalonia (Spain)
  Mònica Figueras, Mittzy Arciniega, Nele Hansen and Tanja Strecker

12 Rural Youth A Political Actor of Social Movements in Brazil and its Impact on Youth Policies
  Elisa Guaraná

13 Young Political Activists in Government-Supporting Organizations Argentina from a Regional Perspective
  Melina Vázquez and Dolores Rocca

14 Kichwa Indigenous Youth from Ecuador Conditions and Context of their Youth Agency
  René Unda and Daniel Llanos

15 Migration and Youth Empowerment The Migration Experience of Young Latin Americans to Catalonia
  Sonia Páez de la Torre and Pere Soler

16 Youth in the Digital World Dispositions and Experiences of Internet Use
  Daniel Calderón and Stribor Kuric

  Afterword Young People and Covid-19: Some Thoughts about a Very Near Future
  Jorge Benedicto, Maritza Urteaga and Dolores Rocca


This book will be of interest to researchers, students and experts in youth studies who want to learn about the research in this field in Latin America and Spain.
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