Utopian Movements, Enactments and Subjectivities among Youth in the Global South: Ethnographic Perspectives

Oscar Salemink (Editor), Susanne Bregnbæk (Editor), Dan Hirslund (Editor)

Research output: Book/Report/PhD thesisAnthologyResearchpeer-review


Drawing on fine-grained ethnographies from Bissau, Chile, China, Egypt, Ecuador and Nepal, this volume explores how politically, religiously and (sub-)culturally inspired Utopias motivate youth in the Global South to imagine, enact and embody what was missing in the past and present.

As a fluid age cohort and a social category between childhood and adulthood – and hence with tenuous links to the status quo – youth are variously described as ‘at risk’, as victims of precarious and unpredictable circumstances, or as agents of social change who embody the future. From this future-oriented generational perspective, youth are often mobilised to individually and collectively imagine, enact and embody Utopian futures as alternatives to reigning orders that moulded their subjectivities but simultaneously fail them. The contributions to this book look at how divergent Utopias inspire strategies, whereby young people come together in transient communities to ‘catch’ a fleeting future, cultivate alternative subjectivities and thus assume a sense of minimum control over their life trajectories, if only momentarily.

As youth enact and embody their aspirations for the future in the present, this book will be of interest to those researching how utopian visions shape practices and subjectivities of youth in the present. This book was originally published as a special issue of Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages138
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-35502-9
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2019


  • children and youth
  • social work and social conditions


Dive into the research topics of 'Utopian Movements, Enactments and Subjectivities among Youth in the Global South: Ethnographic Perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this