This special issue focuses on education as a crucial factor mediating the relationship between youth and globalization. Specifically, four papers collectively explore how education can be re-envisioned from the following vantage point: the use of technology to foreground the fundamentally interconnected nature of today’s world; the help of mindfulness to deepen the awareness of such interconnectedness and cultivate a commitment to collective well-being; the role of activism to produce more critical knowledge and transformational solidarity for social justice on a global scale; at the same time, the necessity of reflexivity to examine one’s own ontological and epistemological assumptions before attempting any educational intervention. I argue that this vantage point helps re-envision the existing institutions and practices of education to encourage young people in a globalizing world to learn to live a happy life together by embracing their pluriversal coexistence.
Riyad A. Shahjahan
Amid growing debates about globalization of higher education (HE), an analysis of the onto-epistemic grammar underlying the articulation of this global phenomenon remains absent. This essay posits that our understanding of the nature of globalization of HE cannot be separated from questions of a) emotions, b) temporality, and c) ontology. Drawing on the extant literature on globalization of HE to date and personal experiences, it demonstrates the efficacy of these above three concepts, and argues that our understanding of globalization of HE insidiously perpetuates a geopolitics of being, and constrains us from knowing/embodying inter-being. It suggests pursuing inter-being as alternatives to fixed notions of human progress and coloniality of knowledge embedded in the prevailing onto-epistemic grammar. By refusing to tame uncertainty or provide ‘probable outcomes’, this essay intends to provoke and imagine alternative ways of knowing/being.
Carles Feixa Pàmpols and Maritza Urteaga Castro-Pozo
This article reproduces a conversation between Carles Feixa and Maritza Urteaga, researchers in youth studies, whose paths converge in the critical study of contemporary youth culture. Carles Feixa, PhD, is Professor of Social Anthropology at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) and holds a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Manizales (Colombia). He was previously a lecturer at the University of Lleida, and has been visiting scholar in Rome, Mexico City, Paris, Berkeley, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Newcastle and Lima. He has also been a public policy consultant for the United Nations and VP for Europe of the “Sociology of Youth” research committee of the International Sociological Association. In 2017 he was awarded the icrea Academia Award by the Autonomous Government of Catalonia and an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council. Maritza Urteaga, PhD, is Research Professor at the National School of Anthropology and History in Mexico City, and a level ii member of the National System of Researchers in Mexico. This conversation reviews Feixa’s career, from its beginnings in the 80s to the present, to determine whether there is something that can be called Ibero-American “youthology”.
There is a growing body of mindfulness research documenting the beneficial aspects of mindfulness to improve one’s psychological well-being. However, mindfulness research is also criticized for reducing mindfulness to a self-enhancement tool without sufficient engagement with issues of interconnectedness and growing health and income disparities. Drawing inspiration from Buddhism, social justice, critical theory and labor studies, I propose a mindful mindset framework with a specific focus on dignity to address this critique of using mindfulness merely as a self-enhancement tool. The mindful mindset has seven interrelated features: (a) compassion; (b) sympathetic joy; (c) situated intersectional awareness; (d) negative capability; (e) cultural humility; (f) wonder; and (g) generosity. A mindful mindset fosters interconnectedness so that we engage with our lives with a deeper commitment to dignity. Dignity as an embodied praxis has three components: personal, intersubjective and processual. Further, I discuss the relevance of mindful mindset and dignity for the well-being of youth.
Dan Woodman and Johanna Wyn
In this article, Johanna Wyn discusses her pivotal contributions to youth studies, in conversation with Dan Woodman. Professor Wyn’s key ideas are introduced: the critique of futurity in youth studies, the rise of a new adulthood, social generation, the limitations of a transitions framework, and belonging for young people. These conceptual contributions are discussed in relation to understanding patterns of inequality among young people and the main challenges and opportunities for the future of a global youth studies.
Michael D. Kennedy and Merone Tadesse
Concerns for social justice in and commitments to globalizing universities are rarely part of the same portfolio among academic managers, or even among students, but these articulations of transformation in higher education increasingly intersect in both decolonizing theory and practice. Following an elaboration of various meanings of solidarity, diversity, and globalizing knowledge, we consider various connotations of the decolonizing mobilization in universities. We then consider in more detail the challenge of linking struggles over diversity to the practices of globalizing knowledge in the usa, especially at Brown University. We conclude by considering particular forms of transformational solidarity in direct and categorical associations, in contests defining equivalent oppressions, and in efforts to deepen awareness of racisms beyond more familiar contests in societies and global extensions most associated with US power.
Recognizing that youth are socialized into specific digital practices in unequal ways, this paper asserts that the way technology and new literacies are positioned in schools can potentially marginalize youth of lower social class positions. It argues that students who are not equipped with the economic, cultural, and social resources necessary to acquire digital practices valued by the knowledge economy may not be able to participate agentively in networked publics, nor gain the literacies for the new work order. By focusing on technology as a tool rather than as an object of study, schools can fail to equip less-resourced youth with the competences that will help them acquire cultural and social capital. The fetishization of educational technology and the lack of structured digital literacy instruction can constitute a hidden curriculum that provides a semblance of being technologically integrated, but ultimately reproduces social inequalities.