Escuela de Lenguas UNLP/Academic Writing/Journalism/Youth: a category under construction

From a communication/cultural perspective, the studies of young people have been continuously growing because of new teams of researchers interested on analysis of the youth and their context: senses, sociocultural process of identity and the way in which young people interpret the world.

There are new categorizations to describe young people that keep researchers distanced from some schools of thought and adhere to other. The category of youth appeals to a socio-historical construction:  young people were constructed as visible actors in the cultural/political field, as producers of social scenarios and discourses.[1]

There is a rule in modern studies of communication that says “there is not a single way to be a young woman or man”.  We can think about youth as a category that tells us about a particular sociohistorical construction over an age range. When Bourdieu (2002)[2] affirms that youth is not more than a word he is referring to the symbolic character of the category of youth. But the symbolic character of young people is not just a sign, it is a cultural construction: youth is more than a word[3].

Young people do not share the same way of insertion in the social structure, they have differential and unequal schemas. Sometimes the concept of “generation” is confusing because it marks a biological condition, the age of certain group. But now we study “generation” no longer from biology but from history.

The generation refers to the time when each individual is socialized. Each generation can be considered a part of a different cultural configuration: young people incorporate new codes and skills, languages and ways of perceiving and appreciating their world.

  1. Viviani, Tomás (2012). Informe Anual 2012 Observatorio de Jóvenes, Comunicación y Medios. - 1a ed. - La Plata: Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Facultad de Periodismo y Comunicación Social. ISBN 978-950-34-0906-0
  2. Bourdieu, Pierre (2002). La "juventud" no es más que una palabra. En Sociología y cultura (pp. 163-173). México: Grijalbo, Conaculta
  3. Margulis, Mario (ed.) (2008): La juventud es más que una palabra. Ensayos sobre cultura y juventud. Buenos Aires: Biblos, Sociedad.