University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Youth Transitions: Sociological and Psychological Perspectives

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Youth and Community Studies

DESCRIPTION The concepts of adolescence and youth have not always existed. The onset of modernity saw the construction of youth as a distinct category. Academic discourse has been influenced by the notion of young people as a separate category. Through this study-unit students will:

(a) analyse the social construction of adolescence and youth and attempt to reach a working definition of youth, pre-adolescence, adolescence, emerging adulthood and other related concepts including youth culture and youth subculture;
(b) reflect on the complexities of transitions from childhood to youth and adulthood;
(c) examine the phenomenon of "extended" transitions pervasive in today's society;
(d) analyse the different aspects of development: physical, social, emotional and cognitive;
(e) study the concepts of self and identity;
(f) examine how the Internet, new media and computer technologies have altered the contemporary cultural landscape, the social, cultural, and political interactions that occur in online settings, the ways in which electronic media convey and contest particular ideologies, the possibilities and limitations of virtual communities, and their dynamics.

Study-unit Aims

The study-unit aims at:

(a) making students aware of the physical, socio-cultural, affective and cognitive development processes at play during adolescence;
(b) equipping students with the necessary theoretical frameworks in order help them analyse the needs and requirements of young people; and
(c) developing students' critical understanding of youth culture, subculture, risk, resilience, cyberculture and other seminal concepts related to the field.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(a) outline the major psychological and sociological perspectives on youth,
(b) comprehend the stages of development of youth and the related aspects of development;
(c) engage critically with the concept of youth and related concepts such as risk and subculture;
(d) analyse the political, social and cultural implications of current and emerging technologies;
(e) assess the values and risks of these technologies and the cultures in they emerge; and,
(f) derive a better understanding of the links between online and offline communities.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(a) reflect on concrete situations;
(b) able to respond to youth needs; and,
(c) make appropriate evaluations of different youth subcultures.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

ARNETT Jeffrey Jensen, Emerging Adulthood. A Theory of Development from the Late Teens Through the Twenties, in American Psychologist, 55/5 (2000) 469-480. [unavailable].

––– Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood. A Cultural Approach, Boston: Allyn and Bacon 2003. [unavailable].

––– Emerging Adulthood in Europe: A Response to Bynner, in Journal of Youth Studies 9/1 (2006) 111-123. [unavailable].

BELL, D. Cyberculture: The Key Concepts, London:Routledge. 2006. [available].

BELL, A. The Subculture Concept: A Genealogy. Pp. 153-184 in G.S. Shoham, P.Knepper & M. Kett (eds.) International Handbook of Criminology. New York, CRC Press. 2010. [unavailable].

EUROBAROMETER, Young Europeans. A Survey Among Young People Aged Between 15- 30 in the European Union. Analytical Report. (2007) (online): 202_en.pdf [19 March 2008]. [available].

GELDER, K. The Subcultures Reader. London: Routledge. 2005. [available].

IARD, Study on the State of Young People and Youth Policy in Europe. Final Reports. Vol. 1: Executive Summary and Comparative Reports, unpublished document 2001. [unavailable].

RICE Philip F. – Kim GALE DOLGIN, The Adolescent. Development, Relationships and Culture, Boston et al: Allyn and Bacon, 2002. [available].

SILVER, D. and MASSANAI, A., (eds) (2006) Critical Cyberculture Studies. New York: New York University Press. [unavailable].

ZIEBERTZ Hans-Georg and KAY William (Eds.), Youth in Europe 1. An international empirical study about life perspectives, New Brunswick – London: Transaction Publishers 2005. [available].

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (3 Hours) Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Joanne Cassar
Nadia Delicata

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

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