Formal Symposium: Pacific Youth: Pacific Futures
Discussion on any aspect of Pacific childhood and youth, in the islands and the diaspora, is invited for this symposium. A working session was held in 2017 with abstracts circulated prior to the conference. In all we had 15 participants as well as others who attended the full day session and contributed to the rich and lively discussion. There were 8 others who expressed interest but were unable to attend the conference; hopefully some will be able to attend in 2018.
The presentations in 2017 were organized into several broad thematic areas: youth participation and empowerment; livelihoods/employment; and migration and identity. During the day a number of other key themes emerged, including: definitions of ‘youth’ and the position of youth within family and community; generational issues and temporality, e.g. future facing issues (climate change, events like elections, etc) and past facing issues (eg ‘cultural trauma’ discourse; ideas of ‘culture’ and ‘tradition’); gender – as an overarching theme; negotiating responsibilities vs desires; rural/urban differences; mental health issues and wellbeing; education; and the impact of digital technologies.
Presentations on the day were made by (in order): Tate LeFevre, Patrick Vakaoti, Aidan Craney, Judith Schachter and Albrecht Funk, Aaron Ferguson, Mary K Good, Rachel Emerine Hicks, Doris Bacalzo, Mary L.Spencer, Caleb Panapa Marsters, Jemaima Tiatia-Seath, Seipua (Sei) O'Brien, Helen Lee, and Melani Anae. Given the wide range of excellent contributions we have decided to move to a symposium for 2018 with papers pre-circulated by early November 2017. Bob Franco has kindly agreed to be a discussant. The intention is to produce an edited volume soon after next
year’s conference, to follow up the ASAO monograph Adolescence in Pacific Island Societies (Herdt and Leavitt, eds, 1998). New participants are welcome!
Helen Lee, Department of Social Inquiry, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086, AUSTRALIA; <H.Lee@latrobe.edu.au>