"Connections and disconnections"

The theme of this issue of Perspectives on youth is “Connections and disconnections”. Our authors have contributed articles on migration, employment mobility, new familial relations, the Internet and new media, young people’s social and political engagement, their connections with their own countries, with Europe or the wider world, and intercultural contacts in general, and others besides.
They address the potential benefts but also the tensions and contradictions that are inherent in contemporary social, cultural, economic and technological changes. Such changes are creating opportunities for young people to connect in new and positive ways with other young people, with their families and communities and with social institutions, in ways that increasingly “cross borders” of various kinds. But it is also clear that these changes do not always take place in a smooth or mutually complementary way: expanded opportunities are not necessarily enhanced opportunities; increased participation in education has not translated into more and better employment prospects; societies and communities are increasingly diverse and yet some perceive this as a threat rather than an opportunity. A related question arises as to whether the policies that are designed both to shape and respond to young people’s circumstances and the resulting practices are themselves appropriately connected or disconnected with each other.

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