Introduction: Ibero-American youth in the twenty-first century

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


An important section of the media and public sphere is dominated by young people, less for what they say than for what is said about them. Firstly, this is an age and social group that is frequently targeted for scrutiny and diagnosis by public authorities. Secondly, it is a hyper-represented category in media and cultural industries that contributes to the formation of cultural myths and youth models. These social narratives produce an idea with two contrasting aspects. While sometimes they record a transient condition, marked by risk-taking and disruption, some other times they unveil a romanticised and optimistic vision that sees the youth as the holder of the most highly praised values in our society. In the fields of politics, leisure, sexuality, technology, youth are either diagnosed as being in a state of anomie, on the verge of the precipice, or by contrast seen as highly creative and dynamic, as engines for social transformation. The political role of the youth as builders of the future is routinely registered in several different sectors of society. Several authors have also emphasised youth as historical actors, as agents of change within a variety of spheres (Gordon, 1998). The conception of ‘youth as an agent of change’ is of special relevance for authors such as the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset (1923) or the Hungarian sociologist Karl Mannheim (1928).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring Ibero-American youth cultures in the 21st century
Subtitle of host publicationCreativity, resistance and transgression in the city
EditorsRicardo Campos, Jordi Nofre
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-83541-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-83540-8, 978-3-030-83543-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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