This course is discontinued

UV9415 – Young people - new contexts: Social change, education, media use and technology

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Course content

The social contexts for young people’s development, socialization, life transitions and mobility are rapidly changing in Europe and in Norway. Processes related to unemployment, pedagogisation and educational expansion, individualisation processes, vulnerability and global risks impact on young people’s opportunities in a profound way, as well as on how young people of today see themselves and their imagined futures. Thus, with these changes follow challenges and transformations at the individual level – in the way young people find their way in the family, in education, in their social life with friends and in the realm of new technologies and social media.

There is a need for a stronger contextualisation of youth as they appear in social research, and a heightened awareness of the distinct challenges that the study of young people in sociology, pedagogy, psychology, media studies, cultural studies, literature and political science may entail. What characterizes young people today, their challenges and the context that they act upon and are impacted by? What are the main perspectives and the new theoretical concepts that are of importance for youth centred research today? What are the methodological challenges of importance in the study of children and youth?

This course brings together studies of young people from different perspectives in an attempt to contribute to a nuanced conceptualisation of youth and their contemporary context, for the study of youth from different research perspectives.

Themes may include:

  • the disciplinary and theoretical diversity in the history of youth research, and recurring concepts such as identity, transition and generation
  • reflections on the methodological challenges in research with and about young people
  • the meaning of education in knowledge based societies characterised by precarious and insecure employment in the context of globalisation
  • the changing nature of young people’s agency, rights and participation in society
  • the changing nature of virtual, offline civic and, social and interpersonal youth -focused digital cultures
  • restructuring of life transitions for youth (18 to 30) in education, employment, housing and family life

The course should be of interest to students of the sociology of education and of youth, digital culture and social change.

Learning outcome

After completing the course the students will be able to:

  • interpret the relationship between youth culture, youth identity and social change
  • analyse the relationship between learning, education and youth transitions
  • understand key theories and arguments in contemporary discussions of the social challenges facing youth today
  • reflect on ethical issues and methodological challenges in the study of young people
  • make sense of the role of technology and digital culture in young people's lives


PhD candidates at the Faculty of Educational Sciences will be given priority, but it is also possible for others to apply for the course. Applicants must have at least a Master's degree.

International students are welcome to participate. It is the ambition of the course to have students from other countries enrolled. The course is inter- and multidisciplinary, and students enrolled in PhD training outside education and educational research, for instance, in fields such as media studies, sociology, psychology, humanities, theology and youth studies are encouraged to apply.

If there are more applicants than the 15 admission places available, a selection will be made based on an assessment of the relevance of the course for the student’s research plan and qualifications in the relation to the objectives of the course. The course leaders carry out the selection process.

Candidates admitted to the PhD Programme at the Faculty of Educational Sciences should apply through Studentweb 

Other applicants may apply using this application form

New dates to be announced. Tentative: Autumn 2017.


This is an intensive course over two days, comprising a total of 13 hours.


1 credit point for course participation (80% attendance is required).

3 credit points for course participation and submitted paper (5-7 pages, Times New Roman 12, line spacing 1,5). 80% attendance is required.

Papers must be submitted at least one week ahead of the course. Submitted papers will be discussed in plenum at the second meeting as the course exam. In addition, each candidate will lead discussion on papers authored by fellow students. 

Two modes of participation:

1) Presentation of project outline, discussion (10 minutes + discussion).

2) Presentation of full paper, comments, discussion (30 minutes + discussion).

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Facts about this course






The course is cancelled.

Teaching language