» Archive for: December, 2013

imagesTwo Research Papers written in the Children and Youth Specialisation are among the 2012-13 prize winning papers.

On Friday 13 December, another cohort of ISS MA students in Development Studies graduated. Part of the graduation ceremony is the announcement of the ‘Research Paper Awards’. For this, all 5 major programmes may nominate four candidates. These shortlisted dissertations are evaluated by a secret Jury composed of ISS faculty and an external specialist. This year a total of four awards were available, and the fact that all prizes  were issued reflects the outstanding quality of the 2012-13 cohort of MA students. The Jury deemed all four prize winning papers to be outstanding for: … their academic excellence, their innovative methodologies, interpretations and originality, as well as their significance for development theory and practice. All four are deemed to be of publishable quality and we recommend them for the ISS Working Paper Series and also for publication elsewhere.

Noteworthy, 2 out of the 4 prize winning papers were written by students from the Social Policy for Development major who specialised within the field of Children and Youth Studies.

The first one is Sara Vida Coumans’ research paper entitled: How Age Matters: Exploring contemporary Dutch debates on age and sex work. This is what the committee had to say:

The Research Paper is a highly compelling, carefully structured and well presented piece of writing which gives an innovative and honest analysis of age and sex work in The Netherlands. Pushing the boundaries of development discourse, as one of the jury said, it ‘should make policy makers think twice again’ as it weaves empirical data and theory in a clear and strongly argued Research Paper.

Paulina (Sat) Trejo Mendez’s  Research Paper entitled Juventud sin Futuro. Subjective experiences of Spanish youth: Resistance and organization in the context of economic crisis won the Jos Mooij  Research Paper Award. In fact, Sat’s dissertation is the first to be awarded this newly established award in memory of the last Dean of Education, Jos Mooij. The Jury considered this:

…a highly original and innovative, a passionate and engaged ethnography that speaks to a core development issue – inequality –  the topic at the heart of the work of Jos Mooij. The Research Paper explores the consequence of mismanagement of development policy played out in the lives of hopes of youth in Spain living through today’s current economic crisis. The RP methodologically challenges how local and global development policy is failing to respond to the concerns of youth, too often written off as a lost generation. In a nice reversal of what is usual in development studies, the Research Paper is written by a Mexican young woman about Spanish youth…

Sara and Sat: Congratulations!


Details on the two papers:

Sara Vida Coumans; How Age Matters: Exploring contemporary Dutch debates on age and sex work

Abstract: Social protection policies regarding sex work in the Netherlands use ‘age’ as an instrument to create binaries between adults and young people. The concept ‘chronological age’ assumes that age is a static feature and supports the process of categorization; however, age is a socially constructed phenomenon and has an embodied experience that is gendered. The objective of this research is to understand the role of ‘age’ in shaping social protection policies regarding sex work in the Netherlands, by analyzing how age is understood by those involved in the design and implementation of policies related to sex work in the Netherlands.


Paulina (Sat) Trejo Mendez; Juventud sin Futuro. Subjective experiences of Spanish youth: Resistance and organization in the context of economic crisis

Abstract: This paper looks at the subjective experiences of Spanish organized youth who are being affected by the economic crisis. This paper follows a standpint epistemology. This research focuses on how their practices question the current dominant discourse depicting today’s Spanish youth as a “lost generation”. Theory on generation is used in order to denote the problematic idea of trying to identify today what can only de defined (in the future). Ideas from anarchist politics and autonomous movements are used to explore Spanish youth current ways of organizing and making politics. Post-structuralist theory is used to explore the influence of discourses in constructing reality. The theories used, together with the stories collected through fieldwork invite us to: First, consider other reatlieits and possibilities of future. Specifically the ones that don’t follow the dominant way of being economically developed. Second, move from the event that defines a cohort (economic crisis) in order to focus on the experiences of those who are being affected by it. Finally, look at the ways these youth are resisting and organizing, creating alternatives within the context of economic crisis.



Caring Children in Malawi & East Yorkshire – Children’s Work within Families affected by Illness and Disability

This PhD studentship is an opportunity to explore across connected communities, the care-giving work children undertake for family members (parents, siblings, grandparents, other adult relatives) with differing needs for care based on chronic illness (especially HIV), associated disability/impairment, young and old age.

This studentship will investigate the outcomes of caregiving by children in the Global North and South across rural and urban locales with respect to young caregivers’ education, health, well-being and aspiration. Sharing lessons North-South and South-North through connecting stakeholder partners in Hull, East Yorkshire and Malawi in Southern Africa, the study will inform policies and interventions to support families affected by illness/disability.

This study offers a valuable opportunity to extend ongoing inter-disciplinary research by human geographers and other social scientists. Informed by a ‘new social studies of childhood’perspective and using a qualitative, participatory methodology the project aims to explore outcomes of caregiving by children for their education, physical and emotional wellbeing and aspirations.

A key objective is to identify policies and practices to support families with care needs. This will be achieved through engagement with and connecting organisations supporting young caregivers in Southern Malawi and Hull/East Riding in order to undertake fieldwork (funding available) and develop policy recommendations. Interested applicants should have relevant degree (min 2:1) or Masters in sociology, human geography, social work or related discipline

To discuss informally how you might develop this doctoral research please contact Dr Elsbeth Robson, (e.robson@hull.ac.uk) Department of Geography, Environment and Earth Science, University of Hull.

In order to qualify for this scholarship you will require at least a 2.1, but preferably a Masters degree, in a relevant subject.

Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship will include fees at the‘home/EU’ student rate and maintenance (£13,726 in 2014/15) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress. Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.
PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Closing date: – 3rd February 2014.

For details of how to apply please visit the 2014 PhD Studentships web pages http://www2.hull.ac.uk/researchandinnovation/connectedcommunities/phdscholarships/caringchildren.aspx

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.