Young people, well-being, resilience and enterprise: critical perspectives for the Anthropocene

Disparate times call for disparate methods. Let’s just say that this is the end of prehistory, this moment when planetary constraints start really coming to bear on the
ever-expanding universe of the commodification of everything. This is the worldviewchanging realization that some now call the Anthropocene. (McKenzie Wark 2016)


On the ‘sidelines’ @ XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities
Toronto, Canada, July 15-21, 2018

Conversation conveners:
Professor Peter Kelly, RMIT – University, Australia
Professor Peter Kraftl, The University of Birmingham, UK


Call to Collaborate

What happens when human exceptionalism and methodological individualism, those old saws of Western philosophy and political economics, become unthinkable in the best sciences, whether natural or social? Seriously unthinkable: not available to think with. (Donna Haraway 2016)

Well-being, resilience and enterprise are key-words (Raymond Williams) in many policy, academic and community discourses about contemporary populations of children and young people around the globe. These ‘states-of-being’ are frequently imagined as being able to ‘inoculate’ individual children and young people against many of the education, training, work and life ‘disruptions’ that characterise the start of the 21st century.
Most often these key-words take the form of individualising and responsiblising, psycho-biological based, encouragements for persons to care for their own physical, mental and social health and wellbeing, to develop their resilience, and to become enterprising in a world that is taken-for-granted as being troubling, challenging and ‘disruptive’.
This call emerges from a sense that we need to develop new ways of ‘troubling’ these keywords at a time when planetary systems – environmental, capitalist – are in crisis.

The Anthropocene is, firstly, a discourse of the earth systems science. However, if ‘humans’ – in all their historical, cultural, social, economic and political diversity – are differently implicated in the emergence and consequences of the Anthropocene, then the social sciences and humanities must critically engage with, and contribute to, debates about these planetary wide changes and their

We are looking to start conversations, collaborations and networking to discuss theoretical and/or methodological contributions to discussions about children and young people’s well-being, resilience and enterprise that:
1) Critically engage with and/or review what the literature on the Anthropocene offers childhood and youth studies for thinking about such things as ‘agency’, ‘structure’, ‘identity’, ‘belonging’,…
2) Trouble/unsettle key dimensions of these keywords, and the forms of regulation, intervention, and problematising of children and young people that they enable.

If you are interested in joining the conversation on the ‘sidelines’ of ISA’s Toronto conference, then please email Professor Peter Kelly, RMIT University, in the first instance, at before the end of May, 2018.
Depending on the level of interest and engagement with this call then a venue, format and program will be identified, developed and circulated.


Toronto Conference-July 2018-CfP