Exit Menu

Theorising young people's aspirations in a global context: An interdisciplinary conference

Timings: 9.30am to 5.30pm

 

Nicola-Ansell-aspiration-picture-from-textbook

This interdisciplinary 2 day conference aims to advance conceptual understanding of how young people form, experience and deploy aspiration; the global institutions and processes that shape young people’s aspirations; and the outcomes of aspiration for young people and for wider society.

Recent empirical research from diverse contexts worldwide has reported on the expressed desires of young people to ‘become someone’. Meanwhile, global institutions and national governments represent aspiration as a key to understanding inequality and a motivating force that can inspire social change. Aspiration is understood to play a key role in shaping young people’s engagement with education, politics and migration. Yet despite the burgeoning attention to aspiration in both research and policy, its theorisation remains relatively neglected.

We welcome papers that address the theorisation of young people’s aspirations. These may consider, but need not be confined to, the following themes.

Aspiration as an instrumental discourse: How is aspiration deployed as a tool of neoliberal governmentality? Is aspiration a prerequisite for social change? How do young people mobilise aspiration to project virtuous identities?

Aspiration as an orientation to the future: What are the limits of aspiration an analytical concept? Does it shed valuable light on youth temporalities? How does it relate to other modes of orienting to the future such as hope, expectation, or desire?

Aspiration as produced and productive: How do dominant norms shape aspiration? What roles are played by affect and emotion? How do aspirations relate to individual and collective agency?

Knowing young people’s aspirations: How meaningful are speech-based research methods for understanding young people’s aspirations? What forms of research might give access to aspects of aspiration that are inarticulable? What do different disciplinary perspectives have to offer?

 

Key Note speakers

Professor Jo Boyden, University of Oxford

Professor  Sam Punch, University of Stirling

 

For more information please read the concept note 

 

 

Monday 26 March

9-9.30

REGISTRATION AND COFFEE

9.30-9.45

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION

9.45-11.15

KEYNOTE 1: JO BOYDEN. Promises,   dreams and dereliction: how schools fail poor children

11.15-11.30

COFFEE

11.30-1

SCHOOL   AS AN ASPIRATIONAL SYSTEM

 

Sacrifice and Aspiration at a   “Castle of Hope” Christine Finnan, College of Charleston,   South Carolina

 

When I used to Love   Dubai: Identity, belonging, and aspirations among Indian school students in   Dubai David Sancho, University of Sussex

 

Dreams   for the Future: "Time Work" in a Northeast Brazilian Private High   School Michele Wisdahl, University of St Andrews NOT EARLY 26TH OR   LATE 27TH

 

PRODUCING SOCIAL MOBILITY THROUGH ASPIRATION?

 

Girls’   and women’s educational mobility in Britain: Tracing historical crossroads of   aspiration, participation, and policy Karin Eli, Christina de Bellaigue,   Eve Worth, Tess Bird and Stanley Ulijaszek, University of Oxford 26TH

 

“Because education is everything”:   The capacity to aspire in South Asian Muslim families Michela   Franceschelli, University College London 26TH

 

Gender and choice: young women’s aspirations   for family and employment Helena Pimlott-Wilson,   Loughborough University

 

1-2

LUNCH

2-4PM

INCULCATING ASPIRATION THROUGH SCHOOL

 

“Teaching as Transaction”: The Tacit Approval of Consumerism in   Government Schools Arshima Champa Dost, Brunel University London

 

Uplifting   and crushing at the same time? The brutalizing realities of aspiring students   in Kenya Elizabeth Cooper, Simon Fraser University

Learning aspirations from youth women teachers of residential schools   in Chhattisgarh, India Rashmi Kumari, Rutgers University

 

“Born   free” to aspire

 Fawzia Haeri Mazanderani, University of   Sussex

 

 

KNOWING   YOUNG PEOPLE’S ASPIRATIONS

 

“If   she works hard, she will reach a position like you”: Does participation in a   longitudinal study of childhood poverty affect the aspirations of   participating children and families? Gina   Crivello, University of Oxford

 

Children   Reading and Talking about Aspirations: Researching Utopianism with Young   Readers Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak, University of Wroclaw and Anglia Ruskin University

 

Accessing   children’s aspirations through researchand   consultations: child participation and the ‘responsible’ child Deirdre Horgan, University College Cork 26 March

 

Mpuliliza! Combining ethnographic and participatory arts in child-led creative research practice and action with girls in urban Uganda Katie McQuaid, University of Leeds

 

 

4-4.15

COFFEE

4.15-5.45

THE PRODUCTION OF ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS

 

Expecting   to make it – How aspiration features in incubation spaces in Johannesburg Lieve de   Coninck, University of Amsterdam

 

Speculative futures at the bottom of the pyramid Catherine Dolan, SOAS, Dinah Rajak, University of   Sussex

 

“Mapping   the future?” Schooling, situatedness and young people’s aspirations in   Lesotho Claire Dungey, Brunel University London

 

ASPIRATION   AND THE REPRODUCTION OF INEQUALITIES

 

The power of respectable aspirations Evelyne Baillergeau, University of Amsterdam 26TH

“‘Here I can move freely, but   behind this corner, it is just too dangerous!’:   Aspirations and Socio-Spatial Mobility of Young Colombians in Cartagena de   Indias. Sonja   Marzi, University of East Anglia

 


Intelligence: a   tool of the powerful Simon Williams, University of Derby

 

6.45

DINNER

 

 

 Tuesday 27 March

9-10.30

KEYNOTE 2: SAM PUNCH: Generational Orderings as a Lens for   Understanding Aspirations

10.30-10.45

COFFEE

10.45-12.15

SHIFTING ORIENTATIONS, SURVIVING UNFULFILLED DREAMS

 

Aspiration,   farming and the life course Charina Chazali, Akatiga, Bandung, Indonesia, Roy Huijsmans,   International Institute of Social Studies, M.   Vijayabaskar, Madras Institute of Development Studies

 

“I’ll be doing what I love full   time”: Illusio, capitals and young Londoners’ future aspirations Magdolna Lorinc, Middlesex University London

 

Cruel hope:   navigating a mismatch between aspirations and chances in neoliberal Egypt Harry Pettit, University of   the West of England 27TH

 

 

GENERATIONAL CHANGE   IN ASPIRATIONS

 

Aspirations   of children in the culture of everyday violence in an urban slum in   Bangladesh Jiniya Afroze, The Open University

 

Exploring young people’s aspirations   in Bangladesh and Ethiopia: age, gender and inter-generational differences Sarah Baird   (George Washington University), Nicola Jones (ODI), Workneh Yadete (GAGE   Ethiopia), Tassew Woldehanna (Addis Ababa University), Mohammed Ashraful   Haque (IPA Bangladesh), Maheen Sultan (BIGD, BRAC University, Bangladesh)

 

Youth   shifting identities, moving aspirations and changing social norms in Ethiopia   and Nepal Vicky Johnson and Andy West, Goldsmiths, University of London

 

 

12.15-1.15

LUNCH

1.15-2.15

THE DISCOURSE OF ASPIRATION

 

Rural youth aspirations in   development studies: an exercise in the defectology of youth Ben   White, International Institute of Social Studies

 

“Becoming no one”: Are apathetic youths   really a problem? Ole Johannes   Kaland, NLA University College

 

ASPIRATION BEYOND   THE INDIVIDUAL

 

“They don’t give us any hope”: inequality, sexuality and aspiration   among young people in Chile Marisol   Verdugo Paiva, University of Manchester

 

‘On “being good”:   theorizing un(der)employed educated young people’s aspirations in rural   Indonesia’

Thijs Schut, University of Amsterdam  

 

 

 

2.15-2.30

COFFEE

2.30-4.00

NEOLIBERALISM AND   THE PRODUCTION OF ASPIRATION THROUGH MOBILITY

 

Opportunities,   Adventurers and Mother Hens: Educated Portuguese migrants in London and   notions of family Lisa Rodan, University of Kent

 

Aspiring   for Employability: Transnational Academic Mobility from Montenegro Ieva   Puzo, Riga Stradins University 27TH

 

The Aspirations of   Refugees. The Future in the New Home. A Literature Review Zubia Willmann Robleda, VID   Specialised University, Centre for Mission and Global Studies, Stavanger

 

 

YOUNG   PEOPLE’S AGENCY AND SUBJECTIVITIES

 

The selfie speaks a thousand words:   Friendship, style and aspiration in an Indian city Rahul   Advani, King’s College London

 

"Realistic"   Aspirations, Closed Future and Becoming a Subject of Vocational Education Avihu   Shoshana, University of Haifa

 

The   obligation to return: How do different conceptualisations of filial duties   affect the pursuit of personal aspirations among students and young   professionals in Beijing and Taipei? Désirée Remmert, London School of   Economics

 

 

 

4.00-4.30

ROUNDTABLE

 

Abstract submission

Please submit titles and abstracts (200 words max), along with names and affiliations of authors, to Claire.Dungey@brunel.ac.uk by Friday 9th February.

 

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED - 21 MARCH

 

Venue

The conference will take place in the Hamilton Centre, Brunel University London, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH.

Accommodation

Can be booked at the Lancaster Hotel, 2 minutes walk to the conference venue

Quote “Theorising aspiration”  to receive the rates below:

  • Accommodation on 26th March £60
  • Accommodation on 26th March including breakfast £68.75
  • Accommodation 27th March £60
  • Accommodation 27th March including breakfast £68.75

 

Lancaster hotel phone number:

Tel +44 (0)18952 68006

Tel +44 (0)18952 68903

Lancaster hotel email:

lancaster-suite@brunel.ac.uk

 

For more information about our research project, please see   www.education-aspiration.net

FREE REGISTRATION FOR BRUNEL STAFF AND POSTGRADUATES- email; Claire.Dungey@brunel.ac.uk to register

Options for public transport are avaiable, pelase see attached the campus map.

If you are driving please sign in at the Eastern Gateway reception where you will receive a visitors parking permit.