2. Describe the best example of a gender stereotype?
3. Do you agree that only women are affected by gender stratification.
4. Which theoretical perspective stresses the importance of regulating sexual behaviour to ensure marital cohesion and family stability?
Sociology of Youth
1. The definition of the concept “youth”.
2. The subject of the sociology of youth
3. The global market for education and new opportunities for preparation of young people to labor and life.
4. State youth policy: Kazakhstan and world experience.
1. What do we mean by “youth”?
“Youth” is best understood as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence and awareness of our interdependence as members of a community. Youth is a more fluid category than a fixed age-group. However, age is the easiest way to define this group, particularly in relation to education and employment. Therefore “youth” is often indicated as a person between the age where he/she may leave compulsory education, and the age at which he/she finds his/her first employment. This latter age limit has been increasing, as higher levels of unemployment and the cost of setting up an independent household puts many young people into a prolonged period of dependency.
When carrying out its Youth Strategy, UNESCO uses different definitions of youth depending on the context. For activities at international or at regional level, such as the African Youth Forum, UNESCO uses the United Nations’ universal definition.
The UN, for statistical consistency across regions, defines ‘youth’, as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, without prejudice to other definitions by Member States. All UN statistics on youth are based on this definition, as illustrated by the annual yearbooks of statistics published by the United Nations system on demography, education, employment and health.
For activities at the national level, for example when implementing a local community youth programme, “youth” may be understood in a more flexible manner. UNESCO will then adopt the definition of “youth” as used by a particular Member State. It can be based for instance on the definition given in the African Youth Charter where “youth” means “every person between the ages of 15 and 35 years”.
2. Youth is a period in which adult identities are shaped and through this society’s institutions and cultural beliefs are either reproduced or remade. For this reason young people and their attitudes and actions fascinate and create anxiety for broader society. The sociological study of youth is also the study of broader continuity and change. This subject introduces major classical and contemporary sociological approaches as they apply to the study of youth. It locates young people's experience in a context of social change, investigating the ways in which employment, education, family, gender, social class, youth culture and geographic location shape the meaning of youth in different ways in the early 21st Century than they did in the century past. It explores the new ways in which young people approach learning, work and relationships and examines the impact of the digital revolution, globalisation, and the coming ‘Asian Century’ on young lives. On completion of this subject students will have deepened their knowledge of the major sociological approaches to youth, including the study of transitions toadulthood, youth cultures and generational change.
While young people are often described as homogeneous, they in fact possess the same range of individual characteristics as other population groups. They may define themselves and their life experience in some of the following ways: Growing up in regional, rural, metropolitan, urban fringe and isolated areas Employed, studying, unemployed or a combination of all Cultural background or languages spoken at home Gender and or sexual orientation Family or household type Another main feature of adolescence and young adulthood is that the age range signifies a major transitional period in power, legal and moral status. For the purposes of this work, this age range is 12 to 25 years. Adults have the right to vote, to earn a full wage, to join unions, and to access rights before the law. Young people often face significant barriers in these areas. Experiences in young adulthood will often form the basis for future values, lifestyles and opportunities. Foundational experiences that councils can offer include exploring and testing of a range of ideas about citizenship and the processes of a democratic society. The assets that young people bring are often under-recognised in these aspects of community development.
3. The situation of young people is not uniform, with wide variations in the levels of youth unemployment between Member States. Even within Member States particular social groups are more likely to suffer the consequences of unemployment than others, and there is a need to focus on the disadvantaged and those furthest from the labour market. The total of young people not in employment, education or training, is currently around 14 million in the EU. At European, national, regional and local levels the attention of policy makers is today firmly fixed on this problem. There is also a burgeoning body of international research about the scale and dimensions of the problem although less about how to resolve it. Although the full capacities of existing programmes, for example the many different European Social Fund examples of creative and innovative approaches, are not presented due to language barriers, significant lessons can be learned from a range of established and emerging practices in the non-formal sector, which includes youth work. In highlighting these lessons, this report urges stakeholders at all levels to recognise, support and invest in non-formal learning structures, systems, and practices. The report can also inform young people about the activities that are being taken, and those that should be taken, to support them. The Expert Group’s analysis of the socio-economic context, the policy environment and the relevant research literature, strongly suggests that enhancing young peoples’ innovative and creative capacity through non-formal learning, requires systematic, sustained and concerted action in four areas. Attention is drawn to the crucial support role played by the non-formal education workforce, especially youth workers, who are directly engaged with young people. The four areas are: 1. Supporting non-formal education workers, especially youth workers, who work directly with young people, to raise the quality of provision. 2. Providing accessible and user-friendly tools and resources to improve nonformal education and youth work. 3. Recognising and validating non-formal learning in business and in the formal and non-formal education sectors. 4. Developing effective partnerships between all stakeholders to provide a favourable operating context for the work.
Many of the challenges facing this current generation of contemporary youth are certainly transnational in character. Growing up in the neoliberal global economy, their futures have become bound-up with the baggage of previous generations: a legacy of climate change, the politics of fear, precarious employment opportunities, and austerity cuts in state support, to name the most obvious. Yet many national and local media fail to adequately address the problems confronting these young citizens. Faced with an impoverished public sphere that all too often restricts the pluralistic expression of diverse interests, and instead favours the voices of the most powerful groups in their societies, many young citizens have sought alternative digital channels to find expression for their discontent. In this way, social media become the communicative tool of choice for many young citizens to express their indignation and sense of outrage at their bequeathed plight (Castells 2012).
Turning their backs on the conventional politics of voting, political parties, trades unions, and NGOs, many young citizens seem instead to prefer to engage in loose network organizations with little or no leadership that are facilitated by new media. In a series of publications drawing upon in-depth empirical investigation into recent protests in Europe and the USA, Bennett and Segerberg have notably referred to this emergent form of political engagement as the ‘logic of connective action’ (Bennett, Segerberg & Walker 2014; Bennett & Segerberg 2013). In contrast to the more familiar ‘collective action’, which requires individual participants to submit to a collective political consciousness, these new forms of unconventional engagement enable young citizens to use digital media networks to organise around shared concerns, but through identity frames which are more personalised. Thus the use of memes, such as ‘we are the 99%’, enables diverse individuals to identity with the transnational concern of rising social inequality exacerbated by the global financial crisis and experienced in a variety of ways in different parts of the world. Such networked spaces have also enabled the rapid scaled-up manifestation of large-scale offline protests (Bennett & Segerberg 2012:742). Social media further enables multiple political issues and contestations to be flexibly tracked around the globe and ‘mashed-up’ or bridged in creative ways. Connective action does not replace collective forms of political participation, but it points to the possibilities for more self-actualising engagement by young citizens seeking to find a voice outwith mainstream public spheres. Moreover, many of these actions both learnt and gained inspiration from other instances around the globe, and sought to send their messages to a global audience.
4. New course of state youth policy has two objectives: self-realization and socialization of young people. It is assumed that this work will cover the maximum number of representatives of different social groups of young people, will create the preconditions to attract and use of expert experience in the field of regulatory and research support, and will help to build an effective model of the relationship between business, science and innovation for the benefit of young people.
Youth policy has always took a special place in the efforts of the state to create a comfortable social environment for all segments of the population. However, now youth sector becomes a venue to meet new challenges, aimed firstly for a full public adaptation of younger generation and formation of necessary conditions for self-realization of young professionals in completely different areas.
"An important work area is the youth policy. Our aim is to create conditions and guarantees for successful socialization and self-realization of youth. The level of satisfaction with current state youth policy is indicator for us. We plan to raise it to 70 %, " the Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan Aslan Sarinzhipov said.
The implementation of tasks in several directions will help us to meet these criteria. First of all, it is necessary to build a clear hierarchy of management structures in the framework of state youth policy. This will help in practice to realize one of the key objectives, the maximum coverage of younger generation geographically and in social way.
"To date, work on state youth policy has begun. The Committee of Youth Affairs of the RK was established, Regional Directorate of Youth Policy and u 97 resource centers were opened in 209 cities and regions, positions of instructor and advisers of akim for youth affairs are introduced in the staff in rural districts," the Council of Youth Policy under the President of Kazakhstan noted.
Furthermore, the implementation of presidential orders concerning planned and effective solutions to the problems facing the world and kazakh youth is impossible without collective approach and involvement of expert community representatives. The first step is to open the scientific-research center "Youth" under the order of the President. It is planned to create a pool of experts on youth policy on the basis of this center. The second step is to open expert clubs.
"In order to timely identify and analyze the socio-economic problems which young people have, with the elaboration of effective recommendations for the effective implementation of state youth policies, the expert clubs have been created. The mission of the Expert Club is to develop mechanisms for solving the problems of Kazakh youth using the best international experience and deep knowledge of the realities of Kazakhstan", the Council on Youth Policy under the President of Kazakhstan emphasized in the report.
Expert clubs, coupled with the practice of visiting sessions of the Council on Youth Policy under the President of Kazakhstan conducted in the regions of the Republic, are called upon to collect and organize the whole package of problematic issues that exist today in the implementation of youth policy. First of all, it is necessary for a realistic understanding the situation on places, the characteristics of the relationship established by the rules and regulations in sphere of interests of young people.
Questions for Review:
1. What do we mean by “youth”?
2. Describe the impact of social institutions and cultural beliefs on youth
3. Why many of the challenges of contemporary youth are certainly transnational in character.
4. Why do so many of the problems of modern youth, are transnational in nature.
5. Which effective implementation of state youth policies do you know in Kazakhstan