In recent years, there has been a proliferation of scholarly interest in youth cultures, with much of the focus on questions of how young people shape and are shaped by the experiences of globalisation in the modern age. As adolescents everywhere struggle to redefine their gendered and ethnic identities, they are keenly aware that they operate on an uneven global terrain. Transnational images of modern youth that stress independence and self-cultivation often exist in stark contrast to the actual local limitations many youth experience.
Composed of twelve chapters based upon ethnographic research in Africa, Asia, and Oceania, this volume explores the gendered cultural diversity of how young people experience modernity. The first part features chapters on mobile phones as agents transforming gender norms for young Mozambicans and on economic independence and feminine beauty among young Namibian women. In part two, contributors describe children's use of English and Pentecostal ideology as agents of social mobility in rural Fiji and examine androgyny, social mobility, and group membership for youth on reality television shows in China and India.
Part three probes gendered discourses of "citizen warrior" versus "citizen shopper" in Cyprus and describes the moral panic surrounding child sex tourism in India. The last part analyses how New Zealanders make sense of a growing youth activist movement, how young Australian-Papua New Guineans embrace their parents' traditional culture, and how Tongan male adolescents in the United States construct gang identities.