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Title: Youth transitions and social change in Kuwait : tensions between tradition and modernity
Author: Alnaser, Fatimah Abdulameer
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 4274
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2018
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Within the social sciences, there is extensive literature on youth transitions as a key context for understanding how social changes and complex contemporary life have an impact on young people’s lives, focusing generally on the ‘global north’. However, far too little attention has been paid to exploring youth transitions in the ‘global south’. Even if it is acknowledged that youth research in the global south has grown in recent years, and has discovered different youth experiences from those in northern contexts, these studies have still been narrow and mostly based on theoretical rather than new empirical work. This research addresses the research gap by investigating young people’s transition from education to the labour market, and exploring the impact of social changes on their lives beyond the global north, in Kuwaiti society. It provides insight into how contemporary young people are constructing and negotiating their pathways to work within a complex reality in which traditional norms and cultural restrictions come into conflict with modernity. It highlights the role of certain variables that continue to mould their transition, including family, gender, religion, education, and government policies. It demonstrates that the rapid change and the compressed manner of modernity in Kuwait have made young people live in a state of tension and contradiction between modernity and tradition, agency and structure, and individual and collective ways of life. It shows how the unique nature of modernity and its consequences in Kuwaiti society have made the young people’s experience distinct from that described in other contexts. This study draws on data generated through questionnaires and interviews. It involves a sample of 1,120 secondary school students, and 24 young adults who had recently entered the labour market. The thesis, which reports the results, challenges existing models in the youth studies literature and critically assesses general sociological theories which tend to be northern-centric. In considering the ideas of the German sociologist Ulrich Beck on modernisation and individualisation, it is difficult to apply his western ideas to the Kuwaiti context. This thesis therefore calls for a cosmopolitan sociology, claiming the need to re-define the concepts within social sciences in such a way that can be easily and flexibly used in a variety of global contexts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General) ; HM Sociology ; L Education (General)