Uncertainty and Dark Optimism: A Sociological Account of Youth and the Promise of Higher Education in Post-Truth Era Book Review of: Black, R., & Walsh, L. (2019): Imagining Youth Futures: University Students in Post-truth Times. Singapore: Springer Book review by Babak Dadvand

Press/Media: Review

Description

In their book, Imagining Youth Futures: University Students in Post-Truth Times, Rosalyn Black and Lucas Walsh provide a rich and nuanced account of what it means to live the life of a young university student in the context of rapid social, political and economic transformations. The discussions happen in the backdrop of two contemporary developments impacting youth. First is what the authors describe as ‘the spectre of uncertainty’ caused by rapid social, economic and political changes that have taken place over the past few decades. The second backdrop to the discussions in the book is the rise of ‘post-truth politics’ whereby objective facts have lost, at least in part, their currency and instead individual beliefs and personal opinions have taken hold in political debates and matters of public interest...Imagining Youth Futures: University Students in Post-Truth Times cannot be any more pertinent than now. At the time of writing this review, many of the issues discussed in the book have come front and centre with the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has sent many businesses into mandatory shutdown to protect public health. The implication of this has been large-scale and historic job losses well beyond the 2007–2008 Global Financial Crisis and unseen since the Great Depression of the 1920s. Amidst all these, young people have been most adversely affected as they constitute the majority of casual workforce or those working in industries hit hardest by the pandemic (Coates, Cowgill, Chen, & Mackey, 2020). University shutdowns have also furthered the spectre of uncertainty faced by many young people. Rosalyn Black and Lucas Walsh have helped advance scholarship in the field of youth studies. They have reminded us of the extremely complex and vexed landscape of youth in the current context of ever-growing uncertainties across many contemporary societies. While the authors raise and address questions pertinent to youth scholars, other questions still remain pointing to the need for further attention to issues of subjectivity, resistance, responsibility and agency across various geographical contexts at a time when the promises of higher education, mobility and employment have become ever more uncertain due to the massive, and mostly likely long term, disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Period5 Jun 2020

Media coverage

1

Media coverage

  • TitleUncertainty and Dark Optimism: A Sociological Account of Youth and the Promise of Higher Education in Post-Truth Era Book Review of: Black, R., & Walsh, L. (2019): Imagining Youth Futures: University Students in Post-truth Times. Singapore: Springer by Babak Dadvand
    Media name/outletJournal of Applied Youth Studies
    CountryAustralia
    Date5/06/20
    URLhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s43151-020-00006-4
    PersonsRosalyn Black, Lucas Walsh

Keywords

  • Youth
  • Higher Education
  • Post truth