Youth as generational configurations: Conceptualising conflicts along generation-based dynamics

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Abstract

While research within peace and conflict studies frequently discusses youth, and simultaneously criticises the terminology surrounding it, it predominantly considers it as an age-based category. Based on such criticisms, we develop a conceptualisation of youth as a social category, arguing that such generational configurations allow insights into conflict dynamics hidden by a purely age-based conceptualisation. We contrast definitions of age-based youth rooted in epistemic regimes with a sociological understanding of youth generations in an attempt to decouple our definition from such power structures. We suggest three insights from this: That youth generations can work within existing power structures and institutions to address their concerns, rather than being intrinsically antagonistic towards them; that concepts and definitions of youth are rooted in epistemic regimes and thus conceal their highly diverse and situative experiences; and that third, by forming youth generations as social groups, common experiences generate meaning for generation-based conflict dynamics.

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Sydiq, T., & Tekath, M. (2022). Youth as generational configurations: Conceptualising conflicts along generation-based dynamics. Peacebuilding, 10(1), 51–65. https://doi.org/10.1080/21647259.2021.1989900

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