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EED Book Launch

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Lost Youth in the Global City – Jo-Anne Dillabough

What does it mean to be young, and to live in the post 9/11 urban inner city, where intimations of incipient terrorism, both considered and casual, have become the characteristic channel for everyday racism and ethnic hysteria? What does it mean to be young, to be poor and to be subject to constant surveillance both from the formal agencies of the state and from the informal challenge of competing youth groups? What is life like for the ‘lost youth’ of late modernity, no longer at the centre of city life, but pushed instead to new and insecure margins of the urban inner city? How are changing patterns of migration and work, along with shifting gender roles and expectations, impacting upon marginalized youth in the radically transformed urban city of the 21st century? Lost Youth in the Global City seeks to answer these questions through sustained empirical exploration of the ways in which groups of young people, marked by poverty and ethnic and religious diversity, have sought to navigate a new urban terrain and in so doing, have created quite new ways of seeing themselves in two Canadian urban concentrations: Vancouver, BC, and Toronto, Ontario. The Gangstas, Thugs, Nammers, Hardcare Asians, Ginas and Ginos who we meet throughout the course of this account are no strangers to surveillance, monitoring and exclusion. Nor are they unrehearsed in complex strategies of self-protection as they encounter new forms of racism, peer rivalry, shifting urban space, and radically changed demographies in the post-welfare urban city. Through the application of conceptual tools of demonstrated power to empirical data of exceptional richness, Lost Youth in the Global City systematically examines the Canadian experience as a model of the affluent ‘West’, as an exemplar of the contemporary global contexts within which young people’s lives are shaped today. Its primary contribution, for both academic and general readerships, lies in its capacity to establish productive new ways to understand new youth subcultural communities in a moment of accelerating globalization and urban malaise.

‘Lost Youth is absolutely leading edge. It applies classic approaches and concepts in an original way to the contemporary frameworks of moral panic about disaffected urban youth in the context of globalization’ Robert Lingard, Professor, School of Education, University of Queensland.

‘Based on extensive fieldwork utilizing fresh methodological approaches, solid theoretical approaches and in depth ethnographic information, Lost Youth will make a major contribution to understanding contemporary youths’s lives’, Nancy Lesko, Professor, Teacher’s College, Columbia University

Hermeneutics, History and Memory – Philip Gardner

History is the true record of an absent past. The trust between historians and their readers has always been founded upon this traditional claim. In a postmodern world, that claim and that trust have both been fundamentally challenged, usually drawing either angry or apologetic responses from historians. But there is another possible response. We might instead see the sceptical challenge as an opportunity to reflect more carefully upon history’s key processes and practices, rather than taking them for granted. In this respect, we might particularly turn to a consideration of methodological resources – in the form of hermeneutics and memory – which are truly history’s own, but from which it has allowed itself to become estranged. Such a consideration, which is the objective of Hermeneutics, History and Memory, may fittingly take the idea of a detour as its guiding metaphor. There are always two routes to any goal; we may choose to take a short, direct route, or we may elect to travel by a longer, in direct path. Inspired by the philosophy of Paul Ricoeur, Hermeneutics, History and Memory chooses the latter course, in the belief that, for all its difficulties and frustrations, the long route may in the end help us to do our history better.

Phil Gardner is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education, a Fellow of St Edmund’s College and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

This talk is part of the Education, Equality and Development (EED) Group Seminars series.

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