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Youth cultural practices: ways of being, performing and representing in the metropolis


The ideas of youth has emerged as fundamental in a series of public controversies in Brazil, from the so-called June Days in 2013, through the little scrolls in shopping malls, to the occupations of public schools by secondary students, young people have been raised to different and contradictory representations, such as victims, as delinquents or as agents of a supposed political transformation. Based on this, the proposal of this project is to investigate the notion of youth as a historical construction, considering how it can be apprehended from three main perspectives: 1) that of youth with a lived experience; 2) that of youth as a field of intervention of public policies and symbolic representations; 3) That of youth as a value or lifestyle highly valued in the contemporary world. Thus, the research project is aligned with Karl Mannheim's (1993) conception of generational experience as a cultural representation and as a social situation shared by particular individuals.Therefore, what is wanted is understanding and reaching a better detailing of the multiple representations about youth, both from the way public policies in the fields of culture and education, and media approaches have portrayed such a notion, especially in what concerns respect for how poor youth are addressed, and how this notion also becomes the representation of a highly valued lifestyle. In the same way, we intend to understand the performances, artifacts and youth productions in act, turning ethnographically to certain relevant youth contexts in the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo, where it will be possible to apprehend this youth lived in its vicissitudes. Carles Feixa and Pam Nilan (2009) named this like the plural worlds that constitute juvenile subjectivities based on discourses and practices that present themselves as paradoxical and non-dichotomous.Regarding the perspective of youth as a lived experience, the project intends to follow, through field research, the youth cultural practices that take place in two specific meeting points in the São Paulo Metropolitan Region, São Paulo Cultural Center, in the capital, and Praça da Moça, in Diadema. Both important spaces of the meeting of young adepts of different practices and youth styles. The objective is taking these two spaces as a starting point to trace the multiple and diverse youth cartographies in São Paulo, thinking about the experience of being young in Brazil today.As far as the other two fronts of research are concerned, youth as a field of intervention of public policies and as a value or lifestyle to be adopted or prolonged, the discursive productions about youth that are elaborated by the most different media vehicles and by the public policies of education and culture, as well as a broad research of the national academic production on the theme of youth since the beginning of the year 2000. In summary, the project intends to carry out a multi-sited research that looks for different spaces, agents and institutions that help us to think how the notion of youth has been produced and transformed in today's society. In this sense, the goal is not to present a rigid and very defined definition of youth, quite the contrary, what is wanted is understanding the many ways of being, being and representing youth in the largest metropolis in South America. (AU)

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