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30 September 2020
Youth Generation and Social Movements in Asia: The Emerging Role of the Education Sector
This special issue aims to investigate the dynamic relationship between the youth generation and social movements within the context of education. It is important to understand the new role of the education sector from the perspective of young people, particularly because a new tidal wave of social movements has swept across the globe. In Asia, young people are at the forefront of the organization of social movements (e.g. the Sunflower movement in Taiwan and the Umbrella movement in Hong Kong and etc.). Therefore, it is vital for educational researchers and leaders to understand the profound effects of how youth generations engage with new modalities of social movements.
The ‘youth’ generation is a very unique age cohort that gradually transits from the teenage years to early adulthood. For the past three decades, those born in the 1990s and even the 2000s were not only harder hit than other age groups by the Great Recession, but are also experiencing the effects of longer term structural changes - many of whose origins predated the crisis, and some of which may impact on opportunities well into the future. Many youth have taken into their own hands to restore what they perceive is an uncertain future through organized social movements.
It is also widely believed that youth, often university educated, play a critical role in a wide range of social movements. The expansion of higher education and sophisticated use of new media technologies and social media platforms might have contributed to the flourishing, frequency and effectiveness of these social movements. However, there are few systematic investigations into the relationship between the education sector and social movements and how this is played out contextually. During the recent major social movements, we have seen that universities and schools have become significant spaces for mobilizing resources and sites for protest. This new development of social movements in Asia stimulates a timely special issue that welcomes papers that address the following generic research questions:
- How do the youth generation react to changing social-political-economic scenarios through social movements in Asia?
- What are the emerging models of youth participation in social movements?
- What are the new roles of the education sectors and institutions as spaces for social movements in Asia?
- Has youth participation in social movements brought structural, curricular, and pedagogical transformations to the education sector?
- How do educators and faculty engage with these social events or initiatives along with the youth?
- How do the youth generation participate in social movements as a cognitive learning process, social networking and identity formation?
- How can the recent youth social movements in Asia be re-conceptualized or even theorized empirically?
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