RC34 Business Meeting

International Sociological Association Research Committee 34 (Youth)
World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan
Tuesday, 15th July 2014



In attendance:
James Côté (President), Tomohiko Asano (VP: Asia), Shen Jie (VP: Asia), Ani Wierenga (VP: Oceania), Sharlene Swartz (VP: Africa and the Middle East), Rosa Maria Camarena-Cordova (VP: Latin America), Jeylan Mortimer (VP: North America), Natalia Wæchter (VP: Europe), Maurice Devlin (VP: Europe), Clarence Batan (International Bulletin of Youth Research [IBYR] editor), Howard Williamson (Organisational Secretary and Treasurer) plus 31 RC34 members in good standing with the ISA.

 RC34 Business Meeting

  1. Welcome and Announcements

The Organisational Secretary (and Election Officer) welcomed members to the meeting and made a number of announcements, including:

  •  The 3rd World Forum of Sociology will be held in Vienna, Austria in July 2016
  • The XIX World Congress of Sociology will be held in Toronto, Canada in July 2018
  • The Journal of Youth Studies will be hosting a conference, in collaboration with Danish partners, to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark in March 2015
  • A new logo for ISA rc34 has been produced and will be considered by the new Executive Board
  • The Research Committee for Youth is, this year, celebrating its 40th anniversary (it was established in 1974)
  • Congratulations were expressed from RC34 to Carmen Leccardi, former VP for Europe, for her successful election to the position of President of the European Sociological Association (ESA).


  1. In memoriam: Dr Sibylle Hübner-Funk

The Organisational Secretary reported the passing of Dr Sibylle Hübner-Funk in May earlier this year. He recorded her major contribution to the emergence and evolution of RC34, not least as Vice-President for Europe (1986-90) and President (1990-94). Vinod Chandra, as one of the few members at the meeting who had known her personally was invited to say some words in respect to her memory and significant influence on the development of youth research throughout the world.

  1. Reports of Officers

These are recorded in detail in the Activities Report 2010-2014 of RC34. The Treasurer reported a healthy balance of some 7,600€, having secured income through membership fees and grants from the ISA and incurred expenditure primarily through travel grants and support for the IBYR and newsletter production. The IBYR editor reported approaching 10,000 visits to the website, from some 120 countries across the world. Each Vice President in turn reported on activities that had taken place in their region, one conference in particular having actually generated much needed income for RC34! The Organisational Secretary reported on a membership of around 180, from over 50 countries in the world.

  1. Report from the President

The President elaborated on other items in the Activities Report, commenting particularly the two newsletters produced as pdfs, which remain a requirement of research committees within the ISA. He also registered some of the publications produced by members of RC34, both through ISA RC34 badged events and independently.

His valedictory comments reflecting on his tenure as President of RC34 incorporated the following observations:

  •  the youth studies field is still expanding and diversifying, as reflected in the current World Congress and previous international events
  • this is taking place at a time of deteriorating living conditions and opportunities for many young people around the globe
  • there remains a paucity of positive and effective youth policies that might respond to these worsening circumstances and diminishing opportunities for young people
  • Members of RC34 are engaged in an impressive range of scientific youth research that notably seeks to connect and engage with youth policy, youth work and a more calibrated understanding of the question of youth ‘transitions’.
  • Such positivity has to be tempered by a recognition and acknowledgement that these are ‘grim times’ characterised by growing inequalities and an economic environment for both youth researchers and youth practitioners in which it is difficult to act
  • But we must remain energised by the contribution that we can make – and have made, especially through the commitment of the Organisational Secretary, the Organising Committee for the RC34 strand of the World Congress, and the work of the IBYR editor
  • Over the past four years, he had endeavoured to pursue a consensus-based approach, while taking a firm stand on ensuring the further development of the reputation of RC34, setting the standard, and learning from and building from the work of his immediate predecessors Ngan-Pun Ngai (President 2006-10), Helena Helve (President 2002-06) and Lynne Chisholm (1998-2002).


  1. Adoption of revised statutes

The statutes have been revised to establish uniformity and compliance across all Research Committees of the ISA. The President drew attention to the main amendments to the previous statutes. The new statutes were approved and adopted unanimously by the meeting.

  1. Appointment of Officers for 2014-2018

The call for nominations was made on 15th January 2014 and a timetable had been set for elections. Elections have, however, been unnecessary since, for all but one position, there has been only one nomination, duly agreed by the nominee and supported by their CVs, as the statute procedures require. For one position (Organisational Secretary and Treasurer), there were no nominations.

The Organisational Secretary, as Election Officer, therefore duly announced the following appointments, thanking the previous incumbents in the process:

IBYR editor                                        Maurizio Merico

VP Oceania                                         Dan Woodman

VP Africa and the Middle East         Sharlene Swartz

VP Asia                                               Vinod Chandra

VP Asia                                               Clarence Batan

VP Latin America                              Rosa Maria Camarena-Cordova

VP North America                             Jeylan Mortimer

VP Europe                                          Maurice Devlin

VP Europe                                          Natalia Wæchter

President                                            Ani Wierenga

In the absence of any nomination for Organisational Secretary and Treasurer, the new President invited the current incumbent, Howard Williamson, to remain in the post. This was accepted and supported by the meeting.

This, then, together with the immediate past president James Côté, comprises the ISA RC34 Executive Board for 2014-2018. An Advisory Board will be established at the first meeting of the Executive Board.

7. Discussion/Issues

  • There should be a renewed effort to produce a history of RC34, an initiative first taken in 2002 but perhaps now a more poignant challenge as a result of the passing of Dr Sibylle Hübner-Funk, to whom it was felt that such work should be dedicated
  • A firm call was made to secure a better understanding of the expectations of the membership about the role of the Executive Board, particularly in facilitating smaller clusters of youth research activity under the auspices of RC34, around either geographical or thematic concentrations (or both).
  • Dialogue and connections between RC34 and the ESA ‘Youth and Generations’ research network should be strengthened
  • The ISA World Forum in Vienna, with its renewed emphasis on greater autonomy for Research Committees, should be a platform for establishing greater support for younger researchers in the youth field
  • RC34 at national and regional levels should strengthen its engagement with youth organisations

8. Close

The new President of ISA RC34, Ani Wierenga, was invited to say a few words and close the meeting. She emphasised that she had taken on the role because the Research Committee was a community she valued and looked forward to the conversations with members confirming the shape and expectations of the Board, and welcomed the many emerging discussions about roles and purposes of RC34, in the context of the issues now faced by young people around the world. But first she expressed thanks to the outgoing President James Côté for the ‘space and grace’ he had offered to the RC34 community, particularly the Executive Board over the term of his Presidency, and his commitment to seeing processes put in place which would support the on-going work of RC34. She thanked Jim for his support. The meeting closed at 2100.