Archive for décembre 2012

Par Michel Vakaloulis

Power Relations in EuropeLet us straight away point out that the concept of youth is uncertain and even improbable if it is taken to mean a homogenous generational melting pot, ignoring the many fracture lines combined and superimposed on it. In fact, the generational dimension, far from existing in the abstract, is constantly traversed by fundamental social markers such as class origin, ethnic origin or gender, which often re-emerge in the form of discrimination. The political socialisation of young people takes shape in predetermined historic conditions, made up of continuities and breaks, of convergences and divergences. It undergoes multiple trials and extendable temporalities that yield a very different view that young people have of politics, pushing then away from electoral participation and towards commitment to local issues.

There is a second mistake that needs to be put into perspective. This is the tendency often to think of young people as a sector that magnifies or exaggerates the behaviour patterns and values found in the rest of society. It is thought that they transmit, in a heightened way, rather negative tendencies such as individualism, depoliticisation and even conformism.1 Inversely, there is another oversimplified view that the young are spontaneously “in revolt”, avid for civic commitments and spontaneous activism in movements like the “indignados” that are likely to “get things moving”.

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