Social Justice and Youth Transitions: Understanding Young People’s Lives in Rural Andhra Pradesh and Ethiopia

Virginia Morrow
Adolescence and youth
Book / chapter

This chapter draws on research with young people in Andhra Pradesh, India, and Ethiopia, to explore the role of place in the reproduction of social inequalities.  The chapter has two aims: first, to shift the focus away from urban-centric assumptions that tend to dominate the study of youth transitions, and second, to contest traditional conceptualizations of youth transition found in much global policy discourse. The chapter emphasizes the ways in which boundaries between childhood, youth and adulthood are blurred, by exploring young people’s past and present experiences of agricultural work, and their anticipated futures. Using a longitudinal approach drawing on two case studies, the chapter explores questions raised by the structural poverty that young people in rural areas have experienced. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the interdependence of family members in relation to roles and responsibilities within the household and in subsistence farming. The chapter concludes that the raising of young people’s aspirations may not only lead to expectations that qualifications acquired through formal schooling will lift them out of poverty, but may also encourage a devaluing of farming as a viable livelihood.  Yet, there are no mechanisms for young people to get jobs in fragile economic situations. This raises questions about equity and social justice.



Virginia Morrow (2015) ''Social Justice and Youth Transitions: Understanding Young People’s Lives in Rural Andhra Pradesh, India and Ethiopia'', chapter in: Handbook of Children and Youth Studies, edited by Johanna Wyn and Helen Cahill, London: Springer.