Edited by Dikaia Chatziefstathiou and Andrea Kathryn Talentino
Lessons from Southern and West Africa
Vusi Gumede, Samuel Ojo Oloruntoba and Serges Djoyou Kamga
Edited by Rallie Murray and Stefanie Schnitzer
Virginie Silhouette-Dercourt, Ousseynou Saidou Sy and Dominique Desjeux
This paper focuses on the beauty and sartorial choices of young French Muslim women in the Paris area. Through biographies on their morning rituals, this article questions the notion of cosmopolitanism when it comes to their veiling practices. Research suggests that these young women, through their double presence in the world – as French citizens and as global citizens – are powerful agents of change of the dominant material culture and consumption. Their varied beauty and sartorial choices help them construct a coherent inner and outer self and manage social and gendered interactions, facilitating circulation. It is argued that wearing the hijab can be conceptualized as a new form of cosmopolitanism, neither ‘from below’ nor ‘from above’: it reframes a Eurocentric view of conflicts between religious and secular discourses in postcolonial times, as well as French fashion.
Globalization brings forth a geographical and thematic expansion of the scope of youth studies beyond the traditional topics of delinquency, studies of generations, and subculture. Youth has emerged as a topic for cosmopolitanism studies with a widespread tendency to use cosmopolitanism as a master narrative that leaves no conceptual room for considering ‘non-cosmopolitan’ on an equal footing. The article questions whether social research should be concerned with identifying the cosmopolitanism of youth or whether it should be concerned with examinations of the glocalization of world’s youth (sub-)cultures. In the article’s last section, I outline a research agenda that focuses upon the relationship between the world’s youth (sub-)cultures, on the one hand, and glocalization and trans-localization, on the other. Use of these concepts offers important insights into the youth's cultural practices and is an alternative to the master narrative of cosmopolitanization.
From Mannheim to Beck and Beyond
Christopher Thorpe and David Inglis
There is today persistent debate in journalism and politics about social generations. Social scientists point out that young(er) people across the planet today seem to be in increasingly similar socio-economic, political and cultural situations. These involve shared forms of experience, as well as means of dealing with often highly challenging circumstances. A major debate at the intersection of social theory, globalization studies and youth studies is whether it makes sense to say that ‘younger’ people across the world today constitute one single ‘global generation’. Such ideas have been promoted by leading social theorists like Bryan S. Turner and Ulrich Beck and Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim. The analysis of social generations stretches back to Karl Mannheim’s pioneering statements in the 1920s. It has been argued that the Mannhemian tradition is in many ways outdated, and needs to be subjected to profound refurbishment, so that it may better understand cross-border, trans-national, ‘cosmopolitan’ phenomena, involving global generations and the forces and mechanisms which create them. This paper argues that claims about ‘global generations’ made by the theorists are muddled, especially in terms of conflating generations and age cohorts, and are often deterministic. The problems derive partly from imperfect readings and usages of Mannheim’s original ideas. It is shown that these are much more ‘cosmopolitan’ and attuned to cultural phenomena than critics allege. While the paper is sceptical as to the potential of the global generations concept in general, nonetheless the ongoing relevance of Mannheim for future endeavours to improve uses of it are underlined.