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Posts tagged ‘youth’

Books about the Arab Spring ignore youth

A series of books examine the Arab Uprisings, but not with a focus on youth except for Youth and the Revolution in Tunisia (Zed, 2013). Arab Spring Dreams consists of young adult’s fiction and non-fiction, written before the uprisings. Arab Youth is an edited collection written before the uprisings.

Ashraf Khalil. Inside the Egyptian Revolution and the Rebirth of a Nation. ST. Martin’s Press, 2011.

Marwan Bishara. The Invisible Arab: The Promise and Peril of the Arab Revolutions. Nation Books, 2012.

Bassam Haddad, R. Bsheer and Z Abu-Rish, eds. The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings. Pluto Press, 2012.

Nasser Weddady and Sohrab Ahmari, eds. Arab Spring Dreams. Palgrave, 2012.

Gilbert Achcar. The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Spring., University of California Press, 2013.

Layla al-Zubaidi and Matthew Cassel, eds. Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices from Tunis to Damascus. Penguin Books, 2013.

Paul Danahar. The New Middle East: The World After the Arab Spring. Boomsbury Press, 2013.

Alcinda Honwana. Youth and the Revolution in Tunisia. Zed, 2013.

Young Indian starts environmental organization, blog

Siddhant is a 20-year-old student who plans to be a professional environmentalist. I also asked him about New Delhi gaining on Beijing as the most polluted city: “Delhi is improving. Its one of India’s greenest metros and all the public buses are CNG [natural gas] powered. People are becoming more aware and are speaking up. The newer areas of Delhi are green, at least compared to other Indian metros.” However, I was surprised at how little green I saw in New Delhi and that people don’t use flat rooftops for pot gardening—or in used truck tires. Siddant told me his family has a terrace garden and they’re common in smaller cities. He acts on his environmental goals by writing and organizing tree planting. ”I am basically into cyber-activism [see his informative blog and Facebook page].[i] He is also a journalist for YouthLeader magazine.[ii])

As a high school student, he founded GreenGaians in 2009. The group organized a campaign in schools and government offices to plant trees. Siddhant added, “More than activism, I prefer to lead by example, trying to follow a green lifestyle.” About the role of young women, he said they are some of his best supporters: “They are loyal to the cause and don’t get distracted, that’s what I like about them.” I asked him what motivated him to be a teen changemaker; “I guess my motivation came from my love for the planet. When children used to watch Cartoon Network, I would watch National Geographic or Discovery. I became a vegetarian when I was nine due to ethical reasons.” Being a Hindu is another influence, “The respect I have for other creatures has come from my religion. We worship the elements, and therefore respect them.” His parents are both teachers and “have always been very supportive in everything I’ve done.”

Global Youth Issues to Discuss and Share Your Ideas

Discussion Activities Chapter 1

You’re invited to post your answers here or Facebook page Global Youth SpeakOut. These questions draw from Awesome: How Global Youth Transform Our Future by Gayle Kimball.


*Compare similarities and differences in the lives of the four young people profiled in this chapter from Brazil, Tanzania, Pakistan and China. Who would you most like to talk with and why? How are they similar or different from youth you know? Do you see hybrid blending of local and global culture in their lives and attitudes?

*What characteristics do you observe common to young people internationally, based on your observations of film, music, political movements and ways of organizing, values and goals?  What are the global influences in your own life? Do you agree that much of global culture is youth culture?

*Read about some youth change makers on  http://www.global1.youth-leader.org/about-2/get-inspired-youth-leadership/

*What are the most pressing global issues and main influences shaping them when you think about the future? Do you agree with Alvin Toffler than technological changes (i.e., plow, printing press, steam engine, computer) are the main drivers of historic change?

*Do youth have power despite their lack of experience in the world? Why are they the most ignored age group by researchers?


*Is there an ethnic district in a city you can visit such as China Town? What similarities and differences do you see compared to the dominant culture in your area?

*Talk with  young people around the world as on TakingItGlobal (www.tigweb.org), or Voices of Youth (Unifcef.org/voy), or my Global Youth SpeakOut on Facebook.


*Watch films about urban youth and their families compared to rural youth, and the migration of rural youth to cities. What differences do you see? Poverty is an overriding problem. If you were the ruler of the world, how would you tackle it? Possible films about rural vs. urban life are:

Stolen Life about Chinese rural migrants to the city. Stolen Life. It shows the class system where city people look down on rural peasants. A freshman university student is corrupted by a scheming boyfriend. (China, 2005)

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.  During the Cultural Revolution, two intellectual city boys are sent to the countryside. The shows the impact of the country on them, and visa versa, especially the young seamstress who falls in love with reading. (2002)

The Road Home. An 18-year-old girl in a mountain village falls in love with the new 20-year-old schoolteacher. There’s no kissing in this love story, lots of eye contact and cooking food for him.  (China, 1999)

Mao’s Last Dancer: An Australian film about a peasant boy—the sixth son in his family—who was raised during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, trained in Beijing to be a ballet dancer. The film is based on his autobiography, with flash backs from his rural boyhood to dancing in Texas. 2009

Born in Brothels. It follows the stories of several children growing up in the red-light district of Calcutta, and the impact made on them when they are given cameras to record their daily lives. (India, 2004)

Slumdog Millionaire. A slum boy ends up on a quiz show and his friends as they grow up. (India, 2008)

City of God shows crime life in a favela/slum in Rio, Brazil. (2002)

City of Men. About two 18-year-old boys who grew up in RIo slums. (2007)

Bus 174: A documentary about a former street kid who hijacks a city bus in Rio. (Brazil, 2003)

Only When I Dance. 18-year-old Irlan succeeds as a ballet dancer, stating, “My greatest desire is to give my parents a better life.” Isabela, 17, struggles less successfully to leave slum life behind. Her dark skin keeps her from being accepted in a Brazilian dance company. (Brazil, 2009)

The Zone. A walled compound of wealthy families in Mexico City is broken into by three teen boys who try to steal from one of the homes. One of slum boys, Miguel, hides out and is befriended by another teen who lives in the compound, Alejandro. The film shows the gap between rich and poor, how the police can be bribed and the rich take justice into their own hands. It’s violent. (2007)

Born in Brothels. It follows the stories of several children growing up in the red-light district of Calcutta, and the impact made on them when they are given cameras to record their daily lives. (2004)

Hermano. Two teen soccer players live in a Caracas slum, one of them is in a gang. (Venezuela, 2012)

Yesterday. An illiterate Zulu farmwoman, whose husband works in the mines in Johannesburg, learns she had AIDS. She is determined to stay alive until her daughter starts school. Shows village life. (South Africa, 2004)

Beat the Drum is about orphans who live on the streets of Johannesburg. (South Africa, 2002)

A Separation. A middle-class couple in Tehran separate because the mother wants to leave Iran. The father brings in a lower-class caregiver for his father who has Alzheimer’s disease. She brings her young daughter with her. Their 11-year-old daughter Termeh is caught in the middle of her parents’ disagreements. She lies to prevent her father from going to jail after an incident where he pushes the caregiver out of his door and she has a miscarriage.  Masoud Ferasati, an Iranian writer close to government said: “The image of our society that A Separation depicts is the dirty picture Westerners are wishing for.” It’s similar to the film Divorce Iranian Style. (Iran, 2011)

Bliss tells the story of an ex-commando who is ordered by his family to kill his 17-year-old cousin, an “honor killing,” because she was raped and “tainted.” It contrasts the differences between rural and urban lifestyles and shows the girl’s increasing strength to stand up for herself. (Turkey, 2007)

Nairobi Half Life. A young aspiring actor, Mwas migrates from a village in rural Kenya to Nairobi and is exposed to slum life and gang crime. (2012)

Machuca. The film takes place in 1973, when the first socialist president democratically elected in a Latin-American country, President Salvador Allende is murdered. The story is about an upper-class boy who meets a lower-class boy when their Catholic school is integrated. Their friendship is torn apart by the military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. (Argentina, 2004)

To Be and to Have. A documentary about a dedicated teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in a rural French village. 2003

Owl and the Sparrow. A 10-year-old orphan girl lives on the streets of Saigon. (2006)

The Story of the Weeping Camel. A family of nomadic shepherds raises a white camel calf. (Mongolia, 2004)

In America: an Irish immigrant family comes to live in a tenement in New York City, told from the point of view of the little girls. (US, 2003)

Beasts of the Southern Wild. A six-year-old black girl lives ion an island in the Louisiana bayou with her alcoholic and sick father in poverty without electricity, both of them first-time actors. Her father refers to her as “man,” and teaches her to be a tough and survivor. (US, 2012)

Films about discrimination against indigenous young people:

Map of the Human Heart. About an Eskimo boy Avik, nicknamed Holy Boy, by a New Zealand filmmaker. It shows his corruption by western culture. (Eskimo, 1993)

Walkabout  tells the story of an aboriginal boy who befriends two lost children. (Australia, 1971)

Rabbit-Proof Fence. True story about three indigenous girls (ages 8-14) who are kidnapped and taken to a missionary school in the 1930s because they are half white, and escape to travel hundreds of miles on foot with no food or water or map to get back home. The girls had no previous experience as actors. (Australia, 2002)

Kite Runner: Takes place in Afghanistan in the 1970s, about a Pashtun boy and underclass Hazara boy. (Afghanistan, 2007)

Discussion Activities Chapter 2


  1. Adults often focus on the negative aspects of young people, such as delinquency, yet view them as the source of what’s cool and trendy. Is there both a war on kids and a desire to be like them? What explains this contradiction?
  2. Some say Generations Y and Z are different from Baby Boomers who said not to trust anyone over 30 in their closeness to their parents. Others say there’s a generation gap due to different lifestyles, values and reliance on technology. Which seems most accurate to you?
  3. Helicopter parents are criticized for being too controlling and demanding school success. Agree or disagree? What about kids who are neglected by their parents?
  4. Millennials are the “relationship generation,” who like to spend time with their parents. Has the generation gap narrowed? SpeakOut youth criticized adults for their bad habits, judgmentalism, lack of understanding, bossiness, and being stressed and angry. How can these two dichotomies exist at the same time?


  1. Look through print media ads to see how youth are portrayed.
  2. Interview different generations in your family, asking them how they would characterize Baby Boomers (born 1943 to 1960, using Neil Howe’s dates), Gen X (1961-1981), Gen Y (1982-2004), and Gen Z (2005-present).


Observe the generational differences in this first generation Indian family in the US, England, and Canada:

The Namesake. After an arranged marriage in Calcutta, the couple comes to New York for his work. The film is about their son’s attempts to integrate Indian and American culture. 2007

Bend it Like Beckham. About an 18-year-old Punjabi Sheik girl is a good soccer player, but her parents don’t think its proper for an Indian girl to run around in shorts, even though they live in London, but she persists. 2002

In Between Days is about a young girl from South Korea and her lonely coming of age in Canada. 2006

Discussion Activities Chapter 3


  1. List people you know well by generation: Baby Boomer, Generation X, Generations Y and Z. Do you observe differences in their approach to life?

Do you agree that Baby Boomers tend to be individualistic, idealists, and rebels? Gen X alienated and reactive? Gen Y pragmatic optimists, civic minded? Gen Z Conformists, adaptive, protected

2. Are kids too protected and controlled by their parents, too pressured to get into a good university, resulting in fragile teacups that aren’t used to coping on their own?

  1. Globally, people generally agree that the difference between generations is young people’s grasp of technology. Marshall McLuhan said that the medium is the message, that our ways of thinking are shaped by the media we use, that how a message is delivered influenced our understanding of the information. Some young people use the term “hive mind.” Discuss.
  2.  On the plus side, global media brings us instant information from around the world. On the minus side, it sells consumerism and breeds frustration. If you were in charge of all the media in the world, how would you change it? Would you extend it to villagers in rural areas?


1. Spend time with places where generations congregate and observe. Do volunteer work for a retirement center or school.


View films that critics feel characterize the various generations.




Films that define generation y

For example:

Greatest Generation: The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Baby Boomers: Rebel Without a Cause (1955), The Graduate (1967), Easy Rider (1969), Saturday night Fever (1977), The Big Chill (1983), Forrest Gump (1994), the

Gen X: The Breakfast Club (1985), Reality Bites (1994),

Gen Y: The Social Network (2010), The Matrix (1999), The Lord of the Rings (2001), Harry Potter (2001), Twilight (2008), Juno (2008)

Valentin. Features an 8-year-old boy who lives with his grandmother, who dies. He makes friends with helpful adults. (Argentina, 2004)


Discussion Activities Chapter 4


  1. Can a person have too much self-esteem? Is Gen Y unrealistically self-confidant? What about cultures like Sweden where it’s not acceptable to stand out from the group?
  2. Some films portray youth self-centeredness as foolish, including most of the Gen Y characters in the HBO TV series Girls and the Indian film Dill Chatham Hay (2001). Some employers complain that Gen Y employees unrealistically expect to advance rapidly and be closely mentored. What do you notice?
  3. Globally, youth stand out as volunteers and social activists. How does this mesh with charges that they’re self-centered?
  4. Young people in developed countries are living longer with their parents as they extend their education and delay full-time employment. Professor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett thinks this time of freedom is a good advancement. What do you think?


Search the Internet for youth volunteers (http://www.unv.org/current-highlight/global-youth-service-day-2013.html, http://beta.gyvn.ca/) and social activists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_activism).


See the HBO TV series Girls and the Indian film Dill Chatham Hay (2001). What makes them act foolishly? How are they different from the older generations they interact with, like their parents and bosses? Compare them with earlier shows about friends in their 20s, including Friends and Gray’s Anatomy.

Discussion Activities Chapter 5


  1. Do you agree or disagree that a materialistic focus on money has corrupted youth, corrupting them into “Generation Sell” with the personality and values of a salesperson?
  2. How do corporations and their media campaigns influence our values and behaviors?
  3. Most people can’t achieve the lifestyle shown on TV and movies, leading to frustration. Will this lead to positive change or resigned bitterness and escape into drugs and alcohol?
  4. The planet can’t sustain the current consumption of resources, let alone accommodate growing middle classes who want cars and meat. How can the planet be saved?
  5. A defining quality of youth today is closeness to their parents. Will this counter materialistic consumerism?


Analyze print ads and those on television to see how they manipulate viewers, as by making them feel inadequate and unhappy without consuming the product advertised.


The Truman Show (1998) tells the story of a man who doesn’t know his life is a reality TV show. Fake media is fed to him to manipulate his thinking and prevent him from wanting to leave home.

The Joneses (2009) about “stealth marketers” who pretend to be a family.

Discussion Activities Chapter 6


  1. Some youth are being treated for addiction to electronic media as in China and the US. Does spending many hours a day in front of a screen interfere with youth’s ability to relate face-to-face?  Understanding of reality? Interfere physiologically with calm linear thinking?
  2. Deandra in Indonesia says she learns a lot from global media, some of which her parents would forbid. Does media interfere with local values and traditions? If so, what remedies would you suggest?
  3. Several Egyptian young women said global media gave them the courage to rebel against dictators and sexism. Is it accurate to say that the youth led revolutions that started with the Arab Spring in 2011 wouldn’t have happened without global media?
  4. Media created a new identity, a way of defining ourselves by what we buy and consume, such as clothing with brand logos or driving a certain brand of automobile. A Danish commentator said, “Tasteless youth culture rules all.” Do you agree or disagree? What do your consumption practices say about your identity?


Look through print media and at TV ads to see how they manipulate us into buying, as by making us feel inadequate without their product to make us more feminine or masculine.


1. Look at Disney cartoons for examples of youth going against older tyrants as in The Lion King, Finding Nemo and Antz.

2. Listen to Manal al-Sharif discuss the impact of media on her revolution from traditional to advocate for women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia.


3. See Jean Kilbourne’s Killing us Softly: Advertisings Image of Women (1979),  Still Killing Us Softly (1987), Spin the Bottle: Sex, Lies and Alcohol (2004), Slim Hopes: Advertising and the Obsession with Thinness (1995), and update with recent ad images. Study guides for the films and others are available online http://www.mediaed.org/assets/products/241/studyguide_241.pdf

4. See Miss Representation (2011) about how media portrays women in a way that keeps them from aspiring to power positions.

Discussion Activities Chapter 7


  1. Having everything given to you and decided for you leads to indifference explained Elena, an Italian teenager. What do you observe in families you know? Do you see helicopter parents and fragile teacups in action? Do you agree that some struggle and challenge is required when raising a child?
  2. A top priority for youth who can afford schooling is to get into a good university. Being a good student equates with good behavior, so can we accurately say that youth value most today is their educational success?
  3. Some scholars find that values change with the stages of economic development, from traditional and following the guidance of elders to modern individualism, relativism and secularism. Does this mean Karl Marx was correct that our economic setting shapes our beliefs?
    1. Is glocaiization, the hybrid blending of local and global cultures, happening around you? Some fault global culture for eradicating wonderful local traditions. What traditions carry on in your family? What do you observe among your family and friends?
    2. University student leaders said youth can be mediators between cultural tradition and cultural change. Agree or disagree? What direction are they taking us in terms of cultural change?
    3. Relationships seem to be the most important value for youth, along with doing good in the world. Do you see this value in action?


  1. Take the Cultural Creative quiz to see if you fit in this personality type (www.soulfulliving.com/culturalcreativequiz.htm). I identified with all the traits, do you?


Outsourced. An unexceptional American film about an American man who is sent to manage Indian workers in a call center near Mumbai. He learns about the importance of time with family and other Indian traditions. (2006)

Margaret. A 17-year old girl in New York City who struggles with the moral ramifications of having witnessed an accident. (US, 2011)


Discussion Activities Chapter 8


  1. Sahar defines traditional values as focusing on “us” rather than “me.” Agree or disagree? What values have been passed on through the generations in your family? Do you see a hybrid blend as in Eri’s Mexican-American family?
  2. Rural people value taking time to socialize with family and neighbors, enjoying simple pleasures of drinking tea and conversation with friends. How much time do you and your family socialize face to face?
  3. African writer Maldoma Some’ faults modern values for materialistic obsession with work, being a slave to the economic “machine.” Keep a time diary for a week to see how you spend your time and if your focus matches your values.
  4. The main target of global youth activists is neoliberalism. Research its origins, application, and impact on social programs that help poor people.
  5. Youth are more family-friendly than previous generations, perhaps because economic struggles make relationships seem more trustworthy and important. What are your observations of young peoples’ relationships with their parents?


  1. Interview the oldest relatives or neighbors you can find about how values and lifestyles have changed since they were young. What surprises them about young people today?
  2. Keep a time diary of how you actually spend your time. The average teen in the US spends over seven hours a day in front of electronic media. How much time do you spend?

Films: Look for the contrast between traditional and modern values

Monday’s Girls (Nigeria, 1993)

Fools Rush In (US, 1997)

Leila (Iran, 1998)

Yi Yi, A One and a Two (Taiwan, 2006)

Wadja (Saudi Arabia, 2012)

Discussion Activities Chapter 9


  1. Many countries have official religions where the head of state is the head of the official church—likely to be Christian or Muslim (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070521213521AATFY2P), while others have a tradition of atheism like China or separation of church and state like the US. In the survey of 15,000 global youth leaders cited in the chapter, 61% affirmed the separation of church and state, which of course means over one-third favor a national religion. What implications does this have for international relations?
  2. Youth tend to be less religious in the sense of attending religious services in developed countries compared to youth in developing and emerging nations. Could this trend be connected with a distrust of old bureaucratic institutions?
  3. Islam dominates world news with fighting between Sunni and Shia, young terrorist suicide bombers, fears of Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan, the Muslim Brotherhood versus the military in Egypt, etc. A website outlines jihad movements around the world (http://islamic-world.net/youth/jihad.htm). What can you find to explain these conflicts? How much has to do with frustration with poverty and unemployment?
  4. Religions generally share a belief in a higher dimension and the continuation of the soul after death. Some youth share this belief and some look to science to answer their questions. Where do you fit in this continuum of belief?
  5. Compare and contrast the points of view expressed by young people with different religious affiliation as revealed in quotations in the chapter.


  1. See if can name countries with an official religion in an online quiz (http://www.sporcle.com/games/anAmatuer/nationrelig)
  2. Attend religious services at a local mosque, synagogue, temple and church to learn about their message and how they convey them to the congregations. Do they have youth groups?
  3. Compare and contrast youth and religion websites (http://youthandreligion.nd.edu/related-resources/miscellaneous-youth-and-religion-sites links to Christian and Jewish sites).

““`www.muslimyouth.net for Muslim youth


Observe religious fundamentalism in

Water. About exploitation of Hindu child widows abandoned by their families in India during the time of Gandhi in the 1930s. 2005 the same writer/director made Fire (1996) and Earth (1998). A book describing the challenges from Hindu leaders while making Water is titled Shooting Water by the director’s daughter.

The documentary Jerusalem follows three teen girls in Jerusalem, Jewish, Christian and Muslim. (Israel, 2013)

Au Revoir Les Enfants. Tells the story of three Jewish boys who are taken from their school by the Nazis in 1944.  (France, 1987)

The Devil’s Playground.  A documentary about Amish youth who are brought up in a restricted environment (no education past 8th grade, no cars). When they’re 16 they’re turned loose to experience all the decadent delights the world has to offer, including drugs, sex, drinking, and cars. Then they have to decide if they want to give it all up and become Amish for the rest of their lives, or try to make it on their own (with no education and no family support of any kind) in the outside world. (US, 2002)

Discussion Activities Chapter 10


  1. What’s the difference between being religious or spiritual according to SpeakOut youth? To you?
  2. Many youth quoted in the chapter have an eclectic view of spirituality, drawing from Hindu deep breathing practices, yoga and the notion of karma; Buddhist meditation; and New Thought belief in the power of positive thinking developed in the US in the 19th century in churches like Unity and the Church of Religious Science. Is the wave of the future a hybrid global spirituality? If so, is that a good or bad development?
  3. Were you surprised that youth accused of being materialistic were so interested in the meaning of life and the afterlife?
  4. Some young people view human behavior as insane, cynics in the “post-everything era of the absurd,” existentialists who don’t believe in a spiritual meaning. They’re in the minority according to global surveys. Why?
  5. Youth’s emphasis on good works rather than faith repeats themes of the Protestant Reformation when a Catholic priest named Martin Luther (1483 to 1546) left the Catholic Church. He said that good works couldn’t earn salvation as that depended on God’s grace through faith in Jesus as the source of redemption. Does that mean youth today have less faith than previous generations?


  1. Participate in a meditation session and explore an online labyrinth (www.labyrinth.org.uk/onlinelabyrinthpage1.html)


Life of Pi. A popular film about a teenage Indian boy who survives being shipwrecked in a boat with a tiger. The first-time actor who plays Pi is 17-year-old Suraj Sharma from New Delhi. It explores the idea that there are multiple ways to look at philosophical questions and religion. 2012

Mongolian Ping Pong. Boys find a ping-pong ball in a creek and think it has magical special powers. Mongolia, 2005


Global Youth Culture: How are Youth Transforming Our Future?

See http://youtu.be/Eu35zi1eClo for photos and a video presentation about global youth.


Global Youth Culture

*[photo of Joa] I’d like to start our exploration of the global youth community with this photograph. Then we’ll explore four questions.

1. Where do you think this teenager lives?


For the last 8 years, I’ve traveled around the world doing research for a book on how global youth are transforming our future, collecting 3,800 responses to the book questions from 73 countries. I stayed with families in Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, England, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and Tanzania.


1. Is there a global youth community?

I was surprised to discover an urban youth culture that transcends national boundaries. Because of electronic communication unique to their generation, youth share music, slang, clothing styles, and values as Jao illustrates and Maham, a Pakistani 13-year-old explains.


If youth meet from 10 different countries with different religions and backgrounds, they will have ideas in common, now that globalization is common and cultural boundaries are reducing. The habits include image consciousness, being tech savvy, living life for today, ignoring consequences of their actions, and being reactive. I feel most of them have complaints about restrictions on them or have problems with how their parents don’t get them right. I certainly do believe that there is a global youth. All the youth can stand together and fight against the differences. Maham, 13, f, Pakistan


2. What characterizes this global community?

A recent survey of 15,000 young people from 24 countries found what defines them is a sense of global community, tolerance, and a desire to share and connect.


Nini, 22, told me about the influence of the global media on her family’s activities and values in New Delhi, India, as you can see on our YouTube interview listed under TheGlobalyouth: She said,


We’ve been influenced by western culture, because of the media. Youth are not as reserved due to westernization. We have the freedom to go out and study and establish a profession, while my mother’s generation married at 20. More women are aware of women’s rights. TV shows educate and motivate women.

People then were more involved with the extended family, now we’re more nuclear family. We don’t live jointly as much, although my uncles live below us. We hardly see family because we’re so busy. My father tries to get the family together every weekend [all three young people live at home but the two in their 20s work and take classes].

We’re more money oriented, instead of values. We’re influenced by the Internet. As kids, we were more likely to go out and play and now kids use IPod and Xbox and gain weight. Little kids know the world because of the Internet. [Her observation was backed up by a recent market survey of over 4,000 kids 6 to 12 from 12 countries that found them aware of global problems like the economy and the environment.]


3. What concerns them?

*This is the largest, best educated, and healthiest generation in history. But there’s a widening gap between the rich and the poor. About 40% of the world lives on $2 a day or less, three-quarters of them in rural areas. [photo] This is Marshal, an illiterate girl in NW Pakistan. You can read an interview with her on my blog on WordPress. She has no power over her own life, only briefly met her fiancé, and says she has no fun in her life. interviewed by Hassan, a university student who teaches in the literacy program we started because of Mashal, when he asked


When have you felt most loved by someone else? Mashal replied,

 Never. My parents have not studied much so they don’t show their emotions. In fact, they don’t understand. I have never felt loved by anyone. Everyone orders me to do work for them. I just stay home, do the household chores everyday, and listen to my parents complain about food, work, money, etc.


*The economic problems facing young people, who have the highest unemployment rate world-wide, resulted in a cascade of youth-led uprisings against inequality starting in 2011: Tunisia to Egypt and Yemen, to Spain, Greece and Israel, to Chile, the US, Russia, and most recently to Turkey and Brazil. [map] Kids as young as 10 are leading reforms and you’ve probably heard of Malala, the 16-year-old champion of education for girls.


4. *How is this community of youthful changemakers different from the 1960s activists? How will they change our future?

This generation values horizontal rather than vertical organizing, pride themselves on being leaderless and are not ideological. They’re egalitarian. No radical today would say what Stokley Carmichael, head of SNCC, commented in 1964 when asked the position of women in his organization—“prone.”


*The bottom line for the global future is the environment. Rural kids I talked with don’t know about global warming, but they don’t do much to pollute. Urban youth are concerned about it, but a UN study found that like us, they haven’t gotten that our lifestyles need to fundamentally change. The Dalai Lama said the world will be saved by Western women, but I’d change that to global youth because of their access to information and their ability to quickly organize large groups of peers.


If this topic interests you, I can email you a draft of the book. And let me know if you know youth who’d like to be included. My email is gkimball@csuchico.edu.



New influences on Youth, according to Dewey and Brison

Youth interviewed for my book on how global youth are transforming our future report that just because adults were once teenagers, it doesn’t mean they understand today’s teens because life is different now. The context youth face is described by editors Susan Dewey and Karen Brison as follows. New influences are access to global trends that stress individualism and consumerism made possible by Internet, mass media and mobile phones. Migration or warfare separates youth from their parents. Mass education takes children out of the home and away from family labor may impact socialization of the students differently than what the family values. Other influences are NGOs in developing areas teach “youth agency” emphasizing rights, such as the right for children to go to school rather than have to work or girls’ right to be empowered. They are targeted by some religious groups such ad evangelicals. Youth also have to cope with increasing unemployment rates and reduced government support that followed neoliberal restructuring programs to pay national debts in the 1980s, increasing gaps between the rich and the poor, and being AIDS orphans. Dewey and Brison maintain that young people’s task in facing all these modern changes is to define their own special gendered identities within their local cultures. Developing nations also aim to define their cultural identities; “ideas about children and youth are integral to national and regional attempts to define self relative to former colonizers and wealthier nations.”


Susan Dewey and Karen Brison, editors. Super Girls, Gangstas, Freeters, and Xenomaniacs. Syracuse University Press, 2012.

War on Youth?

Author Mike Males list the myths about violent, drugged, morally challenged US youth, and defends the reality of good youth behavior. He blames the myths on adult bad behavior. He ascribes adult fear as partially due to the increasingly multi-racial and less affluent youth. Males maintains that, “The rapidly deteriorating behavior of American grownups (particularly aging Baby Boomers) in both personal and social realms has led to a crisis of adulthood in which youth is the target of displaced fury.”[i] Researcher Don Tapscott also believes that the reason for the harsh criticism of youth is a generation gap. The individualistic and self-centered Baby Boomers are afraid of change that youth bring with their use of electronic media and ability to collaborate. Therefore Boomers criticize youth for being “dull, celebrity-obsessed, net-addicted, shopaholic exhibitionists.”[ii]

[i] Mike Males. Framing Youth: Ten Myths About the Next Generation. Common Courage Press, 1999.

[ii] Don Tapscott. Grown Up Digital. McGraw Hill, 2009, p. 289.

Professor Henry Giroux agrees that youth are unfairly blamed and that there’s an escalating war on youth, but rather than blaming a generational struggle, he faults neoliberal or casino capitalism. The wealthy don’t want people questioning the economic system that accumulates power in the hands of the few. Neoliberals push for privatization, reduction in government services and regulations of finance, and “militarization of the entire society.” [i]What sets aside young people is they’re the first generation to be exposed to neoliberal propaganda all their lives with its “near pathological disdain for community, public values, and the public good.” The culture of competitiveness and consumption  leaves their future security in doubt.[ii]

The 1% are afraid of youth’s push for democracy, open discussion, and creation of alternative support systems, as evidenced in the overly violent police response to the Occupy movement and youths branded as terrorists in a “war against youthful protesters.”[iii] Giroux believes we live in a “neoliberal culture of cruelty.” The OccupyArrests.com website reports that 7,732 people were arrested by the end of February 2013.

The 1% is disassembling social safety nets and freedom of speech globally under the guise of austerity and protection from terrorists. They fear youth who are “producing new ideas, generating a new conversation, and introducing a new political language.”[iv] Young people like those who participated in the Occupy movement value the social sharing rather than individual competition and they question “banal fantasies of consumption.”[v] Especially minority youth are considered a threat to adults, housed in prison-like schools and then actual prisons, resulting in a culture that “cannibalizes its own young.” He advocates that young activists reclaim higher education as a place for critical thinking and questioning the existing power dynamic, as it may be one of the few public institutions left where this dialogue can occur.

As Indian author Arundhati Roy said in an interview after visiting Occupy Wall Street in 2011, that “it seems to me to be introducing a new political language into the United States, a language that would be considered blasphemous only a while ago…reigniting a new political imagination…. an imagination outside of capitalism, as well as communism.”[vi] She urged that protesters be aware of a global pattern “that their being excluded from the obscene amassing of wealth of US corporations is part of the same system of the exclusion and war that is being waged by these corporations in places like India, Africa and the Middle East.”

[i] Henry Giroux. Youth in Revolt: Reclaiming a Democratic Future. Paradigm   Publishers, 2013, p. xiii.

[ii] Ibid, p. 135.

[iii] Ibid, p. xi.

[iv] Ibid, p. xvii

[v] Ibid, p. 125.

[vi] Arun Gupta, “Arundhati Roy,” The Guardian, November 30, 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/30/arundhati-roy-interview


What Are Global Youth Thinking?


Greetings. Thank you for being part of my global youth book. If you would like to critique a draft, I’ll be happy to email chapters. The Table of Contents is below.

I’m still adding survey responses in case you know youth who would like to be heard in the book. The questions are also below.

I invite you to add your thoughts and photos to our Facebook page called “Global Youth SpeakOut.” Some interviews with students around the world are on YouTube under “TheGlobalyouth.”

Finally, from talking with so many students globally I realized they need a book about how to cope with test anxiety and stress. I have a draft of that book and invite you to add your advice and experiences. Thank you! I look forward to hearing your latest news. Gayle Kimball, Ph.D.



Awesome: How Global Youth Will Transform Our Future

Over 3,800 young people from 72 countries SpeakOut! Future leaders reveal trends in youth culture and identify crucial global issues to reveal future directions.

Table of Contents

 Part 1 Getting to Know the New Generation
Chapter 1 Global Youth Power and Issues

Youth Power; Get to Know Eva, Abel, Sahar and Yuan; International Youth Issues: Urban vs. Rural; The Gap Between Rich and Poor

Chapter 2: The Millennial Generation and their Elders

            Teenaging of Culture vs. War on Kids, Youth Generation Characteristics, What Youths Think About Adults

Chapter 3  Consumerism vs. Caring for Others

Media and Common Language, Teen Style, Multinational Corporate Consumerism


Part 2 Youth Activism
Chapter 4: Youth Activism for Equality

 Activist Youths vs. Apathy, History of Youth Movements, The 2011 Arab Spring, European Summer, US Fall and Russian Winter Youth Demonstrations 2012 Protests, The Occupy Movements, Change Making Tools: Electronic Networking

Chapter 5 How to Create a Revolution in 18 Days

The Groundwork, After Mubarak Stepped Down, My Interviews with Demonstrators in Tahrir Square, Women’s Role in the Revolution
Chapter 6  Gender Equality

Current Status of Gender Equality, Life For a Traditional Village Teen, Women in Government, Global Feminist Activism, Fourth Wave Feminism
Part 3 Youth Values and Beliefs
Chapter 7 Traditional vs. Modern Values

            Life Purpose, Values, Rural vs. Urban, Respect for Elders, Consumerism


Chapter 8  Beliefs about Religion and Spirituality

             Suffering, Religious Purpose, Beliefs About God, Participation in Organized Religion, Spirituality

Greetings from California. I’m writing a book that gives you and other young people around the world an opportunity to say what’s on your mind. This is your chance to be heard. Many of you have wonderful suggestions for how to make our world a better to live in, so I’m asking people age 19 and under to respond to 12 questions.  I have a draft of the book if you would like to critique it.

See www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Global-Youth-SpeakOut/160382763986923 for photos.

Please also forward to kids and their teachers so they can be part of the global youth book.

Thanks, Gayle Kimball, Ph.D. gkimball@csuchico.edu


1. If you could ask a question of the wisest person in the world,

what would you ask her or him about life?

2. What bothers you in your daily life?  What practice best helps you stay calm?

3. If there was one thing you could change about adults, what

would it be?

4. What would you like to change about yourself?

5. What do you like to do for fun?

6. When have you felt most loved by someone else?

7. Why do you think you’re here on earth; what’s your purpose? How are you influenced by global media (TV, Internet, advertisements, etc?)

8. On a scale of 1 to 100, how highly would you grade your

school? Why?

9.  What work would you like to do when you’re an adult?

10. If you were the leader of your country, what changes would you make?

11. How is your generation different from your parents’ age group?

12. Imagine you get to write on a T-shirt going on a trip around the world. What do you want your T-mail to say to people?


What questions are missing that you’d like to answer? Your email. . . . . . .

What first name would you like used in the book to quote you?

How old are you?

Girl or boy?

What city and country do you live in?

Gracias! Merci! Danke! Arrigato! Chi chi!


> > > > >Previous Books:

> > > > > Essential Energy Tools book and 3 videos.

> > > > > 21st Century Families: Blueprints for Family-Friendly Workplaces,

Schools and Governments. (Equality Press)

> > > > > How to Create Your Ideal Workplace (Equality Press)

> > > > > The Teen Trip: The Complete Resource Guide (Equality Press)

> > > > > 50/50 Parenting (Lexington Books)

> > > > > 50/50 Marriage (Beacon Press)

> > > > > ed. Everything You Need to Know to Succeed After College (Equality


> > > > > How to Survive Your Parents’ Divorce (Equality Press)

> > > > > ed. Women’s Culture (Scarecrow Press)

  • > > > > Ed. Women’s Culture Revisited. (Scarecrow Press, 2005)



Life Skills Guide for Teenagers Based on Their Own Experiences

Teenagers’ Life Skills Guide: The Teen Trip by Gayle Kimball, Ph.D.

A peer-based support group for teens, 1,500 young people report on their experiences and coping techniques, both boys and girls.

Topics include body, feelings, sexuality, drugs, peers, family, school success, work, and community involvement. The author added resources and pertinent information.

Teen Voices magazine editor Alison Amoroso and editorial board wrote,

Parents and people who care about young people wish we could make growing up easy and painless. No one has all the answers, but The Teen Trip has most of them. It’s a fun, interesting book that is guaranteed to make growing up easier. The book combines the wisdom of young people with Dr. Kimball’s research for a useful and important resource. This book will be read, reread, underlined, marked and loved by every young person who reads it.

Sylvia Ann Hewlett, past President of the National Parenting Association wrote,

The Teen Trip is a candid and thorough look at the potentially daunting issued faced by today’s teenagers, refreshingly presented thought the voices and stories of the teenagers themselves.”

Ashley, 16, said, “It’s time someone wrote a book that teens can actually use and get help from.”

Tyler, 16, wrote, “Readers will find out that it includes a lot of things that teenagers want to know about, like colleges or getting a job.”


Are global youth materialistic?

Are global youth really materialistic? In a survey of 25,000 youth (ages 16 to 29) from 25 countries, they tend to be in favor of the economic opportunities they see provided by globalization.[i] Chinese youth are the most enthusiastic with 91% in favor, compared to 71% of Americans and 65% of Europeans. A majority of youth in other countries surveyed also view globalization as an opportunity, except in Turkey, Morocco, and Greece where the percentages were in the 40s. The Chinese youth are more proud of the rich people in their country than other nationalities (57%). A majority of youth in the following countries want to earn a lot of money in the next 15 years in this order: China, India, Australia and Canada, the US and Russia. However, a majority of respondents in the other 19 countries don’t have this aim, with youth in Morocco and Japan the least interested in making a lot of money. Globally, owning a home is at the top of respondents’ list of goals for the next 15 years so that it follows that their top criteria for a good job is the salary is provides, followed by a good working atmosphere and interesting work. Doing a job that contributes to society is more important than job prestige or vacation time, with 22% of youth wanting to be educators and 20% wanting to do research, followed by 19% interested in the financial field. 45 Only 6% are interested in being famous. Young people today want to make money to have a secure family life and they also want to contribute to the good of others.

[i] Dominique Reynié, ed., “World Youths,” Foundation Pour L’Innovation Politique,” 2011. Electronic survey in 2010 by TNS Opinion of 25,000 youth born between 1981 and 1994 in 25 countries, plus 7,714 respondents aged 30 to 50.http://expeng.anr.msu.edu/uploads/files/83/2010%20Youth%20leadership%20in%20a%20Globalized%20World%20Survey.pdf

Youth the First Global Generation

In a survey of over 3,000 young people in 100 countries, most identify themselves as members of a “global community,” concerned about the problems of the planet.[i] Youth today are the first global generation, the first to experience a new world different from what their parents knew growing up.[ii] Most of the 25,000 youth surveyed in 2010 express satisfaction with “the age in which I live,” especially the Indians. These young people, ages 16 to 29, have a “new consciousness” brought about by globalization’s electronic communication that creates a “global flow of emotions.” When analyzing what shapes their identity, youth reported that their global humanity (81%) is more influential than their nationality (70%), ethnic group (53%), or their religion (43%). Their personal education and profession are most important in shaping identity, especially in emerging countries. In most countries, a majority of youth believe that what happens in the world has an impact on their lives, with the exception of young people in Finland, Romania, Morocco, Israel, and India. Another sign of their international outlook, youth are more likely to trust the UN and other international organizations than their elders. The editor of the study predicts youth’s global consciousness will replace class and national consciousness, perhaps leading to a Western-influenced humanist “cosmopolicy.”  

[ii] This paragraph is drawn from Dominique Reynié, ed., “World Youths,” Foundation Pour L’Innovation Politique,” 2011. Electronic survey in 2010 by TNS Opinion of 25,000 youth born between 1981 and 1994 in 25 countries, plus 7,714 respondents aged 30 to 50, pp. 13, 16, 72.


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