SARI Annual Public Lecture – 2014 – Craig Jeffrey – Project Life: Youth Action in Modern India
Date: Wednesday 23 July, 2014 6pm – 7.30pm
Location: Coombs Extension Room 1.04, Building #8, ANU
There is critical absence of qualitative research on the everyday social activities of young people around the world, despite their being energetic, active, and creative agents of social transformation. This paper addresses this gap in our knowledge through considering young people (16-30) as facilitators of social change. Through qualitative research spanning Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, conducted with Dr. Jane Dyson, I describe how and why educated youth from ‘marginalized’ backgrounds are enhancing the capabilities of subordinated sections of society and how policymakers might work better with this crucial group. The paper advances substantive knowledge of youth across the world, offers a compelling new framework for analysing social action, and provides policymakers and the public with vivid material on how young people contribute to society and how organizations could enroll such youth in development drives.
Craig Jeffrey is Professor of Development Geography and Tutor and Fellow in Geography at St. John’s College, Oxford and teaches at the School of Geography and the Environment in Oxford. He has conducted academic research on youth, politics, education, and development in north India for the past 20 years, regularly publishing in journals such as Development and Change, World Development, and Comparative Studies in Society and History. His recent books include: Keywords for Modern India (Oxford University Press 2014, with John Harriss); India: Economy, Politics and Society (Oxford University Press 2014, with Stuart Corbridge and John Harriss); Timepass: Youth, Class, and the Politics of Waiting in India (Cambridge University Press 2011); Degrees Without Freedom: Education, Masculinities and Unemployment in North India (Stanford University Press 2008, with Patricia Jeffery and Roger Jeffery); and Telling Young Lives: Portraits in Global Youth (Temple University Press 2008, with Jane Dyson).