Young People and Social Change after the Fall of the Berlin Wall

November 20, 2009 - 09:30 - 18:00
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CEU contact person: 
Vera Asenova
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Young People and Social Change after the Fall of the Berlin Wall

After the breakdown of state socialism in Europe the societal role of youth changed dramatically from that of an ideological driving force of communism to that of an agent and carrier of democratisation and marketisation. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall in November 1989, a symbol of both the raising of the Iron Curtain and the end of the Cold War, this seminar takes a look at how the opening up of these societies to Europe and the world changed the conditions and experiences of growing up in the area. The seminar examines the status of young people in these societies before and after 1989, their living conditions, issues of social participation, the way in which they construct their identity and constitute and represent current social realities, their  cultures and gender constructions as well as the interplay of continuities and discontinuities beyond this historical separator. In order to frame the contributions, the seminar focuses on four  main topical fields: youth transitions and their national contexts, youth in the post-communist landscapes of inequality and uncertainty, and the consequences of social change for the possible convergence of youth across the former dividing line of the Iron Curtain. A fourth stream addresses the history and activities of cooperation between youth experts from the East and the West regarding research, policy and practice.

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