» Archive for: October, 2012

Two new edited volumes contain chapters by CYS convenor Kristen Cheney. Click on the pictures to learn more about them:


Category: conferences| jobs/interns

25 Oct 2012

The Association for Research in Cultures of Young People (ARCYP) is a body that ‘promotes the study of and research in young people’s cultures and texts…across a range of disciplines’. It is housed at Simon Fraser University (Canada), but does not limit itself to the Canadian or North-American context.

The Association’s webpages lists plenty of useful information, including academic opportunities in children and youth studies and announcements of recent publications in the field. It also list a number of relevant resources, including ‘listserves’ on topics concerning children and youth studies.

Lastly, ARCYP calls for papers on the following three themes to be presented at the Congress for Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Victoria, 1-8 June 2013:

*Genderqueer children and youth

*’Growing up Global’: Childhoods in a transnational context

*Institutionalized Spaces, Geographies and Environments of Young People

For more details go HERE.


posted by Roy Huijsmans

Some days ago the Lao B-Boy group Lao Bangfai posted a strong statement on their Facebook page (for an earlier post see on Lao Bangfai go HERE). Their message is straight forward. They are happy that they often asked to perform on all sorts of occasions, yet, they are annoyed with constant requests to put on such shows for free or for a much lower fee than their usual one.

In their words:

Of course you would prefer us to dance for free, and WE don’t dance for the money, but who pays our bills? Who pays our food and water while we are training for your event? We have a studio that we rent, just like you rent your house.’

To be sure, Lao Bangfai does not always charge fees (e.g. exceptions may be made for charity  related events) and it is particularly when their involvement is sought by commercial parties that complaints about fees annoys them:

‘You know yourself (Organizers and Promoters) that Laobangfai can attract more people to your event than any other local artist (no disrespect but it has been the case in all past events). So please respect our service fees, think before commenting and complaining.’

The artistic value of Lao Bangfai is recognised across the globe as their long list of awards and prizes indicates, so why then is it not recognised as a form of ‘work’ and properly rewarded? Their may be two issues at stake here. First, is the work of art, which b-dance is, which is too often not recognised as a form of labour. It may be viewed as an unproductive activity, a form of leisure rather than labour, etc.  Second, this artistic labour is done by young people who present themselves as youth. Diane Elson observed in an article way back in 1982 that due to the ‘seniority system’ it is extremely difficult for children, and to some extent for youth too (!), to achieve ‘full recognition [by adults] in monetary terms for the skills they possess and the contributions they make’ (p. 493). This appears to hold for Lao Bangfai too and is further complicated by the fact that their artistic work is seldom given due recognition as a form of labour.


Category: CYS specialisation

10 Oct 2012

As the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) is celebrating its 60th anniversary this week, it is a good moment to reflect briefly on the attention paid to children and youth in these 60 years of development studies in the Hague.

The ISS can rightly be said to have played an important role in putting questions concerning the role and position of children and young people in development on the agenda. Much of the credit for this goes to Ben White, and a 1982 issue of the journal Development & Change (a journal published on behalf of the ISS) on the topic of ‘working children‘ is evidence of this early concern with children and youth in development and still makes for interesting read!

Issues concerning children and young people have for long been addressed as part of some MA courses at the ISS, but it wasn’t till the academic year 2000/2001 that this was consolidated into what was at first an optional course on ‘Children and Development’ (convened by Karin Arts & Ben White). Interestingly, it were students who played an important role in making this happen as they successfully lobbied for a full course on children in relation to development. Over the past 12 years this initial optional course has grown out into a solid specialization in children and youth studies within an MA programme in Development Studies. In addition, since 2002 the ISS has been offering a 10.5 weeks intensive Postgraduate Course in ‘Children, Youth and Development’.

Given this history of children and youth studies at the ISS it is no surprise to see that this topic is well-covered by the various events happening as part of the ISS’s 60th anniversary. The Development Dialogue organized by the ISS PhD community last Monday and Tuesday included two panels on ‘children & youth’. In addition, the colloquium on Social Policy for Development which is organised as part of the Lustrum activities features a current children and youth studies student and will, among other things, address questions about youth (un)employment.

Children & Dislocation

Category: conferences

2 Oct 2012

We are proud to announce an upcoming workshop at ISS:

Dislocation, Inclusion, and the Spaces of Identity: Youth and Children in the Arab World and the EU

18-19 October 2012, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands

Conflict and regional integration can both be reasons for dislocation. In the first case it is about seeking refuge; in the second it is finding opportunities. Whether it is peace or conflict, the changing context affects children and youth more than any other social group. They are more vulnerable to trauma and discrimination, they struggle with coping in a new environment, and they have to adapt to changes sometimes beyond their comprehension.

This International workshop is aiming to compare the situation of children and youth that are facing similar challenges though they seem to be living in different contexts, namely the Arab World and Europe.

The six panels (for a programme click HERE) are to bring together researchers, policy makers, journalists, international experts, civil activists and young voices.

Registration is FREE and open to the public. To register and for further details, please send an email to Sharmini Bisessar (bisessar@iss.nl) and indicate which day(s) you plan to attend.


Rethinking Boundaries

Category: Uncategorized

1 Oct 2012

Posted by Roy Huijsmans

Occasionally book reviews make points that go well beyond the reviewed texts. One such an example is Katherine Gough’s review of Young People, Place and Identity (by Peter Hopkins, 2010) that appeared in the journal Progress in Human Geography.

The young people depicted on the front cover of Young People, Place and Identity strongly suggest that the book concentrates on young people in North-western Europe or the United States, or perhaps, on a rather select group of young people in these places. However, the title itself lacks any specification and this is something Gough takes issue with. She suggests adding ‘in the Global North’ to the title to clearly indicate the geographical focus of the study. At the same time Gough is critical of the widespread disconnect of studies on young people in the Global North with work on young people in the Global South (this is far less an issue the other way around!). She argues that: ‘while it is certainly true that there are differences [that set young peopl in the Global South apart], there are also many similarities with the everyday lives of youth growing up in the global North. I think that this book, which draws on numerous individual cases, has missed an opportunity to widen its scope with illustrations from throughout the world which would reduce the artificial distinction many (students) have between ‘us’ (global North) and ‘them’ (global South).’

International Institute of Social Studies

ISS is an international graduate school of policy-oriented critical social science. It brings together students and teachers from the Global South and the North in a European environment.