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Title: Stay Hungry, Stay Choosy : a dystopian novel based on insights from critical ethnographic research on the overeducated and underemployed in Italy and the United Kingdom
Author: Buciu, Felicia Catalina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 4997
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2018
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This creative writing thesis consists of a full-length novel, Stay Hungry, Stay Choosy. The premise of the novel is that, by 2050, Italy will be a de jure gerontocracy that cannibalises its young. This thesis contributes to research on moral panics as it brings to the fore the voices of the voiceless and further explores the locus of youth unemployment in the discussion on social deviance. Thus, the thesis explores how Erich Goode and Nachman Ben-Yehuda's (1994) moral panics theory explains the mono-narrative of young people's transition from education to employment in Italy and the United Kingdom. In my academic research, I use a critical paradigm based on the fundamental premise that creative writing should play a key role in the liminal place that bridges social research and social activism. The research is framed by a number of social theories, underpinning the public discourse on youth overeducation, unemployment and underemployment. Subsequently, an in-depth analsyis is carried out, using the lens of Goode and Ben-Yehuda's moral panics framework, in order to show how the pervasive dichotomy of the angry youth and the aboulic youth in public discourse is used to stereotype the young and to maintain the power dynamics between both generations and socio-economic classes. Thirdly, Urbanski's 'rhetorical circle' (1975) is shown to be the explanatory metaphor that allows speculative fiction writers, such as Anthony Burgess and Marco Bosonetto, to draw upon pervasive social fears about the young, creatively elaborate upon them and hold up a mirror to readers by incorporating these fears into storytelling. These theoretical concepts are then explored from the perspective of young people, through ethnographic inquiry. Finally, the research outcomes are filtered through the process of self-reflexivity in order to illustrate the choices I had to make in order to complete the present novel in a way that respects both the conventions of the speculative writing genre and draws upon research findings. This thesis thus contributes to the case that creative writing has a key role to play in linking social science findings to practice by drawing concepts and findings together in a coherent narrative. This thesis turns this literary call to action into a real-life manifesto.
Supervisor: Brayfield, C. ; Weldon, F. ; Kinnings, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Unemployment ; Overeducation ; Youth ; Bamboccioni ; Italy