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New Research in the Geographies of Children, Youth & Young Adults 1 (Session 1 de 2)

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13:30, Tuesday 9 May 2023 EDT (1 hour 30 minutes)
Coffee break - SH-4800   03:00 PM to 03:30 PM (30 minutes)

Chair: Ann Marie Murnaghan, York


This session aims to highlight new research in the Geographies of Children, Youth & Young Adults, finding both debate and common ground across diverse empirical interests. While Children’s Geographies and Youth Geographies can operate as distinct subdisciplines, there is much to be gained by bringing our critical engagements with age, identity, and space into conversation. Increasingly, geographers are also reckoning with young adulthood in the contexts of work, politics, housing, the environment and beyond. We welcome scholars from other disciplines who are interested in these questions. We will address conceptual, empirical, and methodological contributions.

Bringing visibility to international student families through narratives of homespace        
Alkim Karaagac*, Nancy Worth, Saif Malhas, University of Waterloo

Over the last decade, there has been substantial growth in both the number of international students in Canada and the total number of student-immigrants applying for permanent residency through the international student education pathway. 1 in 5 international students is estimated to live with their spouse/partner and children during their studies. Despite increasing aspirations to settle in Canada as a family, international students are often perceived as independent, care-free, hyper mobile young people, and their families and housing needs largely remain invisible in policy and planning. In this paper, we share preliminary results of a research project with international student families that asks about (a) economies of housing and experiences of affordability, (b) meanings of housing and homemaking in transience, (c) housing as space of caregiving-receiving, through narrative family interviews. We engage with feminist relational approaches to understand international student agency, centring on a recognition of the social embodiment (student-parents) and environmental embeddedness (newcomer families). While contextualizing ‘family’ within the international student mobilities through the narratives of homespace, we also want to enrich public discourse by challenging common stereotypes of international students (young, privileged, self-reliant), opening a more complex discussion of how we understand changing demographics of the international student population—towards young adults and children, with care and settlement needs.

Housing advantage, hidden curriculum, and habitus across students’ past and future housing pathways   
Nick Revington, INRS

Early research on young people’s housing pathways identified a distinct student housing pathway offering an institutionally supported “housing advantage” over those who transition directly from the parental home to the private rental market. The intervening years, however, have witnessed the emergence of private, high-amenity purpose-built student accommodations (PBSA) amidst a generalized housing affordability crisis. As a result, scholars have more recently called into question the notion of students’ housing advantage, pointing to widespread housing precarity among university students and reconceptualising the housing challenges students face as a “hidden curriculum” that reinforces inequalities. Others, meanwhile, have posited that the reconfiguration of student life in PBSA has the potential to reshape the student habitus, fostering future preferences for the high-density, privatized urban space PBSA represents. I revisit these notions in light of interviews with 27 students in Waterloo regarding their past experiences and future expectations – until graduation, and after – with respect to housing. While the interviews reveal a multitude of pathways, concepts of housing advantage and hidden curriculum are not as contradictory as they may appear, with many students benefitting from supports offered by university residences before facing an expensive, discriminatory and predatory rental market. Although students’ experiences normalized high-density living, they did not necessarily supersede long-term preferences for detached home ownership, and access to amenities was more important than private space as such.

Hanging out online: Exploring teenage social spaces in the digital world   
Nina Duque, UQAM

Today’s teens cannot get enough of TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram; being online is part of their daily lives. Studies observe that although being online is an entertainment practice, it is also very much a social one. Digital platforms enable teenagers to create and maintain peer relationships, such that ‘youth social spaces’ are no longer considered uniquely physical spaces but are understood as both online and offline spaces. We propose reflecting on teenage digital spaces at the intersection of participatory culture, adolescent cultures, and the sociology of uses. We present the results from our doctoral thesis on Québec teenagers aged between 12 and 15. Based on a qualitative approach, our project considers online practices as fluid notions and dynamic processes through which users construct meaning through their practices. We observed online social practices in three organized yet cobbled-together digital spaces. We first note a macro or “official” space that acts at the stage of discoverability and is part of a dialogic and participatory dynamic. Second, we observe an intermediate space where the boundaries between official products, professional practices and amateur productions are intertwined. Platforms are places where young people get together to share content and interests. Finally, we note the presence of “micro-community” spaces produced by and for youths. These practices attest to a social and relational dimension based on a proposal of identification with a shared experience, a common identity, and a desire for belonging. Our paper aims to contribute to studying adolescent populations whose current digital practices generate pessimistic and normative discourses

Déplacements géographiques, déplacements socio-cognitifs? Quelques cas d’étudiants de Chine dans les Grandes Écoles en France     
Laure Minassian, Fabien Pfaender, CIRCEFT ESCOL & COSTECH    

Alors qu’elles constituent la part la plus importante des mobilités étudiantes dans le monde (UNESCO, 2020),les mobilités internationales des étudiants chinois restent peu étudiées, mois encore lorsqu’elles concernent des partenariats entre la Chine et la France. Notre contribution vise à les documenter, en s’inspirant des travaux de la tradition de Chicago(Thomas et Znaniecki, 1918; Burgess, McKenzie et Park, 1925). Plus précisément, il s’agira d’apporter quelques éclairages sur les «Effets de lieu» (Bourdieu, 1993) relationnellement à des déplacements sociocognitifs, tels qu’ils se manifestent chez les étudiants suivis dans des institutions spécifiques et hiérarchisées. Cette perspective relationnelle s’appuie sur la notion de «rapport à» et englobe dans l’enquête présentée le rapport à l’espace, c’est-à-dire les intériorisations symboliques des étudiants concernant la spatialisation (Halbwachs, 2000 [1925])en lien avec leur(s)rapport(s)à la langue française et ses usages confrontés aux exigences langagières et cognitives des formations. Les données reposent sur un questionnaire long passés auprès de 150étudiants de Master associées aux résultats aux examens pour proposer quelques pistes de réflexion. Quelques résultats provisoires de notre enquête en cours suggèrent une inégale répartition des processus sociaux d’incorporation et des déplacements sociocognitifs opérés selon les IFC étudiées. Mots-clés: rapport à, usages langagiers, interprétation, socialisation spatiale, processus de socialisation

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