PERSONAL ESSAY: EYS BEYOND BOUNDARIES

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EYS Beyond Boundaries Francesca Cappelletti M.A. EYS 2011

Author Note Francesca Cappelletti, M.A.EYS Short Course 2011 Correspondence concerning this essay should be addressed to Francesca Cappelletti E-mail: cappelletti.francesca@gmail.com

…. 3 Going beyond boundaries………………………………………….…….p..………………………………p..PERSONAL ESSAY: EYS BEYOND BOUNDARIES 2   Table of content: Introduction……………………………………………………………... 6 Conclusions…………………………………………………………….. …………………………………………………. 8 References………………………………..…………………………………... 10 .. p.. 3 Resistances……….p.p.p. 5 Where’s the revolution?.

From this definition we can further say that a boundary may exist only when at least two different things exists. Through this lens EYS is a new field of study that goes beyond many boundaries and for this reason is revolutionary not only in itself but also because it reflects the silent revolution which is going on in nowadays Europe. Accordingly to the historical-context based meaning of Youth as a topic. GOING BEYOND BOUNDARIES What boundaries are? I would define a boundary as a line intended to limit the space of something in respect to something else. European Youth Studies responds to a new and pressing need of a more flexible and transnational form of education and knowledge making. which kind of boundaries EYS challenges and what kind of resistances it has to fight. . mainly sociology and psychology but also political sciences and others. Then I try to outline why this is a revolutionary potential and how it permeates Europe in general. economical decisions’ consequences and the social response to both. defined as the merging of the historical circumstances. In the conclusions I will try to make the point by exposing how this revolutionary potential is applied to the very concrete field of employment. So the concept of boundaries implies: multitude. diversity. self-definition (a definition of oneself to oppose to something else) and limitation (as soon as you define yourself as something you limit yourself not to be something else).PERSONAL ESSAY: EYS BEYOND BOUNDARIES 3   INTRODUCTION Studies about youth are not new but so it is the idea of a distinctive field of studies. In all these fields. It’s the reality itself. studies about youth were conducted in relation to theories of the field itself and then applied also to the in-that-time defined youth. Starting from a definition of boundaries I will explain what going beyond boundaries means in my opinion. many studies have been elaborated by different branches of knowledge. which claims which kind of knowledge it’ s necessary.

the necessity to put this line comes from the need to protect the space of the self-definition as perpetually in danger.” All these aspects contribute to create a different level from the sum of the different nationals one and give the way to a real transnational form of thinking. whenever there is a concrete possibility to choose. 4   So. p11)states that “The development of a consciously and specifically European youth research field is closely associated with the emergence during the past fifteen years or so of the following: • A recognizable sociopolitical European-level public sphere of discourse • The growth of relevant institutional policy action by supranational organizations • A rising sense of contemporary Europe as a world region in the context of economic and cultural globalization processes. 2) Transdisciplinary: A multidisciplinary approach is essential because youth studies requires a complete task force to fulfill multidisciplinary needs especially the . Are boundaries breakable? If by breakable we refer to the idea to live without any boundaries I don’t think it’s really possible but for sure they can be moved and in some cases reality can give us examples of issues which goes beyond many boundaries and fight to be recognized as such and not because they are limited by others boundaries. boundaries may change their position. I think it’s the case of European Youth Studies. Chisholme (2006. Which boundaries EYS go beyond? 1) EYS are transnational 2) EYS are transdisciplinary 3) EYS rethinks Education 1) Transnational Borders are mainly artificial. the options themselves establish power relations between each other to protect the contents of the space inside their boundaries. National borders are mostly created and also European borders are historically created. Limits comes from consensus and acceptance of certain rules. between options (even when this possibility it’s just implicit). Accordingly to the efficiency or strength of these relations. for whatever reason.PERSONAL ESSAY: EYS BEYOND BOUNDARIES Observing reality.

The focus is not anymore in the discipline. RESISTANCES In this view. I think with EYS we are going over this distinction trying to merge the two components and creating. people who have to face choices and are responsible for their choices. 3) Responding to a more comprehensive version of education: There is a widespread discussion about the content of education because it’s quite evident that education nowadays doesn’t respond anymore to the task of giving enough and efficient tools to people to freely choose their life path.PERSONAL ESSAY: EYS BEYOND BOUNDARIES need to quick responses to immediate and very concrete situations that change very rapidly and involves many aspects of life. From there the distinction between formal and non-formal education as an escape way to cover aspects left behind by the formal education. European Youth Studies as a distinctive transnational field of study go beyond many boundaries and consequently challenge their power relations which react resisting. . 5   The fact that Youth has been studied in many different fields says clearly that Youth can been approached in many different ways but what it’s more important is that Youth as a concept to be analyzed in very distant academicals circles of studies has no sense anymore. at least. in century of history. a try of new education in which there is not a distinction between what is formal and what is not formal but simply there is a goal to accomplish: preparing youth for whatever future they will freely decide to have. Youth is people. people living in a social context. youth is a changing reality. with changing needs and dreams. Knowledge has built its own structures. Youth as distinctive field of studies requires a big change in the way we have conceptualized. Each field protects its borders with a presumption of “betterhood” in respect of other disciplines and tends to discredit what it’s not built following their rules. but in the subject and its needs. pillars and hierarchy. Labels used till now are in part challenged in part essential. It’s a matter of flexibility and knowledge till now has not been really flexible nor really integrative. with social and personal needs. Youth is not an abstract concept. -­‐ Resistance from an over-structured academic world Knowledge has been conceived till now following a linear way where cells of knowledge could be added on the vertical line (new independent fields) or in the horizontal line (new adding to a certain field). rules. knowledge.

English is still the common ground when we want to transfer meaning understandable on a transnational level. education belongs to schools. Nation-state sovereignty is “threatened” both from “europeisation” and from regionalism that foresees space for recognition outside the Nation-State borders. . Fortunately new tools come to help. nation-building tradition and. WHERE’S THE REVOLUTION? EYS are claimed by reality to be: transnational. multinational projects we still have to come to terms with a very big issue: how we can communicate in a multilingual society taking into account the importance of language as a medium to exchange cultural meaning and at the same time being widely understood? I put the language issue in the resistance section not because it’s a resisting area in itself but because so far there is not a definite solution to that. I’m thinking for example at the possibility to express a concept on a video so that even if we express ourselves in English we add meaning with our expressions and our movements or simply with images so that the meaning making assume a more comprehensive dimension to overcome the limitation implicit in the choice of one language as a common ground. … Defense of belongings and the consequent separation of competences is seen as the answer to uncertainty.PERSONAL ESSAY: EYS BEYOND BOUNDARIES -­‐ Resistance from an over constructed national centrism 6   When dealing with a transnational discourse the most powerful resistance comes from the political boundaries between nations. The defense of the national sovereignty it’s a matter of legitimacy and consequently of survival. -­‐ Resistance from over settled division of competences Music belongs to leisure. -­‐ Language issue When talking about multicultural. transdisciplinary and responding to a more comprehensive version of education. Nation-State marshals heavy artillery to defend its survival such as patriotism. feed some kind of prejudices. indirectly. In our three corner triangle in which research creates knowledge. Finding a definite position to everything give a sense of security difficult to abandon. policy creates framework and practice creates actions each corner has its mechanism to protect itself from being patronized and all these mechanism slow the constructive dialogue between them. assistance belongs to social services.

p. going beyond them open to uncertainty and insecurity. 2006. So.33) define it: “By offering insecurity I also offer space for influencing and being influenced. European Youth Studies can really create a newer form of educational approach cutting across many different areas of competence. p.” (Lauritzen. I create fluidity within the dialogue” New Knowledge Youth studies can be a factory for a new undefined framework which responds to newer needs and can give a way to a new approach to knowledge: how to use better the knowledge created in the past. New youth Carmen Leccardi gave us an overview of the necessary reconceptualization of Youth in changing times. I think insecurity is the key word of this new order beyond boundaries in the sense Peter Lauritzen (Lauritzen.H. or maybe contributed to create them. Globalization let many similarities come on the surfaces. while boundaries create certainty. Helga Nowotny (Nowotny. and the capacity to accept what is said within a dialogue as equally valid. Information Technology merge with theoretical fundaments and logic and systematic approaches.PERSONAL ESSAY: EYS BEYOND BOUNDARIES 7   That is the real revolutionary aspect of EYS: the bottom up approach and its recognition made not by definitions or setting of boundaries but by the openness and by what Lauritzen defines as “tolerance of ambiguity…the capacity to listen. The New Youth escape from a definite definition but give an image of itself through the common challenges it has to face. and the challenges young people have to face are similar in many European countries (even included many other countries). how to improve the way we create knowledge today and how the knowledge produced can be accessible to the most of people.33). 2006. As a new field. good practice can be a resource of knowledge and research step back to society. . The differences still remain in the way in which young people approach and try to face this challenges. 2000) foresees a new process of rethinking science in which both science and a society have to come to terms with a plurality of uncertain futures and that leads to the shift from “reliable knowledge” to “socially robust knowledge” that’s to say from a knowledge that seeks its legitimacy in itself to a knowledge that doesn’t seek legitimacy and it’s funded over society.

Going back to the EYS. The quick changing society conduce young people to take quick decisions in a panorama where many more options seems to be available. but in terms of a dynamic flux of competences between levels. but from the other side these new competences required to youth relay almost totally on the individual and if institutions loose their role. objects. The challenge could be about improving dialogue and exchange between levels instead of protecting boundaries that no serves anymore. a great number of young people are left without any shelter. New forms of governance Paradoxically. This uncertainty. subjects and receivers and the dominant element of today reality is UNCERTINTY. Uncertainty and ambivalence about its role. policy. This sets important challenges to eventually new form of governance. is the most reluctant to deconstruct its boundaries giving new meanings to its role. But the exploration of the many social options has to come to terms with inequalities and the risk of social exclusion. young people are givers. the step by step biographical construction has no sense anymore. the focus on youth it’s not abstract anymore.PERSONAL ESSAY: EYS BEYOND BOUNDARIES It’s a youth dominated by the uncertainty and ambivalence. grasp from. is stimulating open discussions. In my opinion. Nonetheless the debate about new forms of governance is open and lively. re-thinking of concepts and of roles. about its possibilities and about its future. CONCLUSIONS The main and striking difference about this new kind of approach is that it’s incredibly rooted on reality. thinks about and give back to REALITY. an interesting thread of discussion in terms of new form of governance could be the definition of the roles of the localnational-sovranational not in terms of setting areas of competences. work with. instead of paralyzing society. which should be very close to society and should respond more rapidly to the changing needs of society. It’s a chance for a . 8   From one side the New Youth seems to have developed a quick and more creative way to cope with uncertainty seeing unpredictability as an added potential instead of a limit.

globalizations. Specifically I’m thinking about how promoting a reform in education could lead to a more comprehensive way to form young people to the uncertain or even how mobility can supply. Mobility helps young people to get competences and knowledge.PERSONAL ESSAY: EYS BEYOND BOUNDARIES better beginning in which mistakes and good practices can be both great resources. to the educational gaps of our actual system. in part. K. open up minds to a big variety of choices but this does not mean that one is ready or able to profit of these opportunities nor that avoids social exclusions but “ we make our way by walking” (Horton. The results of her research tend to be not too encouraging nor give much spaces to improvement so if we could observe how different aspects affects employability maybe we could have different outcomes. Mobility is for sure a first tool leading to better employment opportunities even if it’s not in a necessary and immediate relation. unstable labour market conditions. 2010) in her study states that higher education is no longer a guaranteed investment for a satisfactory employment situation because the old and secure (even if not equal) transition from education to employment has been broken by the many changes society has undergone in the last decades: expansion of higher education. 9   Koskinen (Koskinen. Let’s take as an example how uncertainty affects and is faced by one important aspect in youth life as employment. A further development of Koskinen work could be how others factors could improve the severe unemployment situation. That is another case in which boundaries of secure pattern have been broken opening up to uncertainty. . She takes into account biographical factors and educational choices in the way they affects employability in different countries. Freire) and we have just begun to walk this revolutionary path. world economic crisis.

San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Jones. European youth research: Development. (2000). Evans and W. Council of Europe Publishing Nowotny. debates. G. demands. P (ed). Lauritzen. in M. Youth employment and the future of work. Chisholm (eds). Eggs in the pan – Youth work: Speeches. (2000). (2006). in Lauritzen. Youth (chapter 1: What is ‘youth’?) Cambridge: Polity Press Koskinen. (2010). On Citizenship.11-21). H (2000). Zurich   .PERSONAL ESSAY: EYS BEYOND BOUNDARIES References 10   Chisholm. in Jahrbuch 2000 des Collegium Helveticum (pp. ‘Labour market success of young European graduates’. Re-thinking science: from reliable to socially robust knowledge. Council of Europe Publishing Lauritzen. L. Intercultural Education. Shen (eds). Writings and Reflections by Peter Lauritzen (p102). Eggs in the pan – Youth work: Speeches. K. (2009). in J. P (ed). in Lauritzen. du Bois-Reymond and L. The Modernisation of Youth Transitions in Europe (pp. P. P. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. Writings and Reflections by Peter Lauritzen (p102). 221-244).

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