Journal of Applied Youth Studies v.2 n.3 February 2018

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by Rob White


Free Amos? Overstepping the boundaries of Team Singapore
by Sandra Hudd

The 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence was a significant moment for Singaporeans to reflect on the achievements of their young nation, encouraging and generating a surge of nationalist sentiment. In looking back to the “Pioneer Generation”, however, anxieties about whether Singaporean youth today were strong enough to “pick up the baton” and ensure the ongoing survival of the nation were also revisited. The death of Lee Kuan Yew in March 2015 was a symbol of this liminal point between past struggles to survive and a future without his leadership.
Throughout its history, Singapore’s national narrative of transformation “from third world to first” has been accompanied by strong state controls on the media and on opinions and behaviour considered disruptive to social harmony. Just four days after Lee’s death, 16-year-old Amos Yee uploaded a video on YouTube – ‘Lee Kuan Yew is finally dead!’ – drawing attention to these tensions and doing so during the ill-considered time of national mourning. Yee was jubilant that LKY had died, and his video included insults to Jesus, Lee and Margaret Thatcher. The reaction to the teenager’s subsequent arrest, court appearances and remand in detention highlights the risks in violating the set limits on socially acceptable subjects and views. This paper explores these issues of youthful protest within the complicated nationalism of an affluent but controlled society.
Keywords: Singapore, youth, Lee Kuan Yew, media, social media, freedom of speech, “Asian values”, political asylum, nationalism, Amos Yee

The role of digital media in effecting democratic change
by Sheila Allison

The application of digital technology in movements towards social and democratic change around the world is cause for either optimism or alarm – depending which side you are on. Recent protest movements, led largely by young adults and powered by social media demonstrate the rapidity with which this form of communication is changing the dynamic of participatory politics locally and globally. Drawing on several recent examples, including the Arab Spring, Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement and Bernie Sanders’ electoral campaign in the United States, this article shows that those pressing for democratic or social change, whether in the Asia-Pacific region, the United States or elsewhere, are typically young digital natives uniquely empowered by technology. But as to whether they are effecting change – while their respective governments play catch-up – it may be too soon say.
Keywords: social media, Arab Spring, democracy, protest movements, Taiwan youth, Bernie Sanders

Exploring young peoples’ use of alcohol at outdoor music festivals in Australia
by Jennie Jaensch, Dean Whitehead, Ivanka Prichard & Alison Hutton

Outdoor Music Festivals (OMFs) are a large part of the summer culture in Australia and many other countries across the world – especially with young people as they transition from adolescence to adult life. The purpose of this study was to explore young people’s use of alcohol when attending OMFs. Current understanding of alcohol use at OMFs suggests that young people aged 25 or younger are more likely to engage in high levels of alcohol consumption and associated risk-taking behaviours. Using a qualitative descriptive exploratory approach to examine this use of alcohol and the experiences and beliefs of eight young people who regularly attend OMFs, it was found that young people routinely pre-plan their alcohol use, either resulting in pre-loading or budgeting for excessive alcohol use at events. The young people portrayed a general acceptance of behaviours at OMFs that, in another context, would be deemed inappropriate, risky or even reckless. These behaviours, perceived as social norms and mainly centered on excessive alcohol consumption, were motivated by the anticipated gratification, enjoyment or social status that such norms suggest or present.
Keywords: Youth, alcohol consumption, music festivals, risk-taking, mass gathering

The Aardvark Program: Learning from experience and striving for sustainability in a combined music therapy/community music songwriting program for young people facing adversity
by Lucy Bolger & Meagan Hunt

Aardvark, a songwriting program in Melbourne, Australia, offers young people facing medical or personal adversity an opportunity to draw on the combined strengths of music therapy and community music. Through tailored songwriting programs, marginalised young people can achieve musical, social and personal development. This article outlines the unique characteristics of the Aardvark model, including individual stories of three of the participants, and proposes a new direction for the non-profit Aardvark organisation in Australia.
Keywords: Music, music therapy, mental health, community music, social enterprise, marginalisation, social development

Socialisation, risk, and education: Schooling as a panacea for today’s wayward youth
by Fiona Beals

In sociological investigations of post-industrial schooling, theorists have highlighted the association between education and socialisation, while also recognising and critiquing the popular conception of schooling as a mechanism for social equality and upward mobility. Commentators often draw upon concepts of socialisation, social equality and upward mobility as commonsense knowledge in media, political and academic discussions of education. However, buried within the argument for socialisation is an idea that education can be used as a tool for the social control of deviant outcomes. This articles draws upon a case study of a publicly perceived youth crime wave in New Zealand during the election year of 2002 to explore the way in which schooling is conceptualised in institutional publications as a response to youth crime. Reflecting historical trends, schooling continues to be used as a mechanism for social control while allowing for social division and stratification. Furthermore, these functions of education now occur within the science of risk psychology. This article argues that there needs to be wider debate on the role of risk psychology in schooling and education, especially as some political advocates are shifting the functions of education, including that of equality and mobility, out of the formal classroom and into the armed forces.
Keywords: socialisation, risk, psychology, social control, deviance, New Zealand, education, youth-at-risk


Sites of Survivance: A symposium on global Indigenous street gangs
by Robert Henry

Researchers and community knowledge experts from across Western Canada, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Australia participated in Sites of survivance: A global symposium on Indigenous street gangs, 23–24 August 2017, at the University of Calgary, Canada, located in Treaty 7 and Métis Region 3 territory. This report from the symposium includes some of the discussion session findings and a suggested research model.


Hate speech, free speech: The challenges of the online world
by Kaz Ross

High among the growing number of social media and internet-related challenges facing contemporary youth is that of hate speech. In this essay, Kaz Ross turns a spotlight on this viral trend, one that feeds on “fear, hopelessness, anger, indignation and other heightened emotions”, and uses a variety of media forms to “alienate, threaten, ridicule or even eliminate targets”.


All students have a right to an education that enables them to be democratic citizens
Re-imagining schooling for education: Socially just alternatives by Glenda McGregor, Martin Mills, Kitty te Riele, Aspa Baroutsis and Debra Hayes
by Adam Staples