Brad Evans (University of Bristol), Jo-Anne Dillabough (University of Cambridge), Jonathan Ilan (City, University of London), Aminul Hoque (Goldsmith College, University of London), Ahmed Moallim (Leap Confronting Conflict)
What are the forms of youth violence, from its concrete manifestations (as in street and gang culture) to the institutionalised forms of violence that lead to exclusion, and how can they be explained? From a geopolitical and global perspective, why are young people often seen as either a major source of risk and security anxiety in the nation or as vessels of future citizenship? What does it mean when the term ‘youth rising’ or ‘youth activism’ invokes civil wars and conflict (eg, the Arab Spring)?
From the UK perspective, is the country facing a new crisis of youth crime and violence? Why do young people get involved in gangs or street-criminal lifestyles? What is the definition of a gang and how does gang life affect young people’s engagement with education, employment and training? Are factors of youth alienation, austerity and socio-economics more helpful in understanding youth violence and crime? What role does the city and the urban landscape play in shaping new forms of youth violence? How can we work with youth who are hard to reach, engaged in crime and violence and/or may be at risk of becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour?
Voices of reason seem to be able to mitigate tension or facilitate resolution. So we often rely on argumentative strategies to deal with controversial topics. In this session, different argumentative approaches will be presented and discussed. Dialogue seems to offer solutions to a variety of problems in different contexts, but when are specific discursive approaches appropriate? What are the assumptions, prejudices and expectations that come with participation in dialogue? How does dialogical teaching relate to other general pedagogical approaches? How can we find the right words when faced with a sensitive situation that provokes emotions?
Some education is overtly political – for example, when it is infused with objectives of patriotic loyalty or political resistance. But even education that doesn’t wear its political nature on its sleeve is still involved in the shaping of political subjects. To what extent must politics be made an explicit goal of education and what kind of political education do we need today? Should the focus be on preparing youth with civic skills and dispositions to be tolerant and cooperative citizens? Or rather on an education that itself has democratic qualities, and enables everyone to act as equal political subjects?