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Young men and the digital economy

Globalized urban precarity in Berlin and Abidjan examines urban youth’s practices of making do in digital economies, to understand how precarious working conditions reverberate in the coming of age in contemporary cities. Through a comparative analysis of the perspectives of young men working as airtime sellers in Abidjan and food delivery riders in Berlin, the book provides innovative analytical lenses to understand urban inequalities against the backdrop of current digital urban developments. Essentially, this ethnography challenges the easy conflation of instability with insecurity, and overcomes the centrality of wage labour in research on urban livelihood, by looking at a broader set of economic practices and relational mechanisms. The analysis shows how accruing symbolic capital, a feel for the game in contexts of ambiguity, and access to care are fundamental for explaining the unequal distribution of risks for socio-material insecurities in unstable work settings.

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Opening up the void
Ann Davies

Brazil is that the sea will make him ‘hard’, thus by implication no longer impotent.) The Basque urban landscape Having considered Alex’s desire to escape, it is time to look in more detail at what it is she is trying to escape from. This chapter will now go on to explore the notion of the void, the emptiness at the heart of both urban youth and Basque society, making particular mention of the squalid urban landscape as representative of a context of urban decay and urban violence. There has been a tendency in films about the Basque Country to figure debate about

in Daniel Calparsoro
Open Access (free)
Quality of life, civil participation and outlooks for a rural future
Anders Melås
Maja Farstad
, and
Svein Frisvoll

focus on when describing what contributes to their quality of life, how rural youth’s participation in civil society differs from urban youth and rural adults, and more importantly, what enables/restricts civil society participation for young people across different rural contexts. We address this by (1) providing a relevant theoretical framework; (2) presenting updated insights into

in Rural quality of life
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Ann Davies

’s cinema is violent, this being the charac- Davis_Calparsoro_01_Text.indd 180 14/11/08 19:58:32 Conclusion 181 teristic for which it is probably most noted. Perhaps too much so, for a close examination of the films reveals that violence, though visually powerful, is intermittent. Unequal power relations always carry the possibility of violence; and much of the violence that occurs within Calparsoro’s work reflects this. The violence of urban youth has formed a regular part of social realist cinema in Europe, while with his move to genre cinema Calparsoro has so far

in Daniel Calparsoro
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Tom Whittaker

The conclusion offers a brief reflection on two recent films, Criando ratas/Raising Rats (Carlos Salado, 2016) and Quinqui Stars (Juan Vicente Córdoba, 2018), which explore the parallels between the material and economic conditions of the delinquents in cine quinqui and those of young people in Spain today who face record unemployment. It concludes by considering the diverse ways in which the films analysed in the book reflected the acoustic experience of urban youth subcultures during the transition to democracy.

in The Spanish quinqui film
Work to make oneself living
Hannah Schilling

The conclusion embeds the relevance of economies of symbolic goods in the debate on value making in the platform metropolis: capitalist accumulation extracts value from everyday life in cities. More specifically, how can we understand the intermingling of symbolic resources, the ‘non-economic’ with the market-like accruing of value, especially in contexts of commodification of labour and the workforce? The making of urban livelihoods fundamentally relies on favours, symbolic gestures and gifts, as illustrated by the practices of urban youths interviewed for this project. Technological change and the emergence of digitally mediated work does not make such ‘smoothing’ irrelevant. On the contrary, symbolic resources and relational mechanisms of honour and reputation also organize access to resources in the gig economy. The book argues that looking at the entanglement of economic practices makes it possible to see the implicit use of labour power, veiled in metaphors of a game, or of gifts, in urban digital economies. Moreover, the digital transformation in cities challenges urban dwellers’ opportunities for social reproduction. In a context of ‘permanent temporariness’, the importance of work as a means to construct status, reputation, honour – of building person value – remains fundamental, even if not bound into long-term careers as self-accruing individuals. The urban youth at the centre of this research, and their longing to bring themselves into play (with others), working, searching and collaborating, show that work is more than making a living: in the end it is about making oneself living (Ferguson and Li 2018).

in Globalized urban precarity in Berlin and Abidjan
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The symbolic value of in-between work
Hannah Schilling

The third chapter focuses on the symbolic value of the activities for the young men to construct status. It shows how, in a context of apparent convenience and freedom, risks of enduring precarity result from processes of closure among workers. In both Berlin and Abidjan, young male workers were marginalized among co-workers if they valued the activity as their main occupation rather than simply as a bridge or parallel activity. Situating the temporal work in the long term, the chapter concludes that official certificates and institutionalized cultural skills were differently meaningful in both cases. In Berlin, they were functional elements in objectified mechanisms of social reproduction: for the urban youth in Berlin, presenting themselves to others as detached from work and celebrating flexibility concealed the importance of official qualifications for making a living. In Abidjan, official cultural resources and the pursuit of an economic activity served the investment in relationality – being and spending time with others – to gain ‘wealth in people’ (Guyer 1995; Vuarin 1994).

in Globalized urban precarity in Berlin and Abidjan
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The making of urban livelihood
Hannah Schilling

marginalizing. This book wants to explain why it is that working in low-paid, temporary and poorly legally protected jobs makes it difficult for some youth to secure viable existences in transitions to adulthood. With this question, I shed light on the heterogeneity of livelihoods and positions of workers that are sometimes homogenized to a ‘global precariat’ (cf. Standing 2011 ). To understand the mechanisms that reproduce inequalities, I focus on the practices for making a living of urban youth who work in precarious conditions. How does a transitory precarity become

in Globalized urban precarity in Berlin and Abidjan
New configurations of Frenchness in contemporary urban fiction
Steve Puig

of writers named ‘Qui fait la France?’ (What is Frenchness?) published a collection of short stories named Chroniques d’une société annoncée (Chronicle of a society foretold), in which writers such as Faïza Guène and Rachid Djaïdani, whom some critics regard as beur writers, shared their opinion on French society. Along with newcomers like Mabrouck Rachedi, Jean-Eric Boulin, and Thomté Ryam, they gave new representations of the banlieue and its inhabitants. Not only did they change the way urban youth was perceived as a whole, they also exposed France’s colonial

in Reimagining North African Immigration
Youth, pop and the rise of Madchester

Madchester may have been born at the Haçienda in the summer of 1988, but the city had been in creative ferment for almost a decade prior to the rise of Acid House. The End-of-the-Century Party is the definitive account of a generational shift in popular music and youth culture, what it meant and what it led to. First published right after the Second Summer of Love, it tells the story of the transition from New Pop to the Political Pop of the mid-1980s and its deviant offspring, Post-Political Pop. Resisting contemporary proclamations about the end of youth culture and the rise of a new, right-leaning conformism, the book draws on interviews with DJs, record company bosses, musicians, producers and fans to outline a clear transition in pop thinking, a move from an obsession with style, packaging and synthetic sounds to content, socially conscious lyrics and a new authenticity.

This edition is framed by a prologue by Tara Brabazon, which asks how we can reclaim the spirit, energy and authenticity of Madchester for a post-youth, post-pop generation. It is illustrated with iconic photographs by Kevin Cummins.