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'Who can bear to lose the world'? Young people vs. capitalism in British Columbia

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Date created
The past few years have been a very bad economic moment for young people in British Columbia. From virtually unprecedented levels of unemployment, a quickly increasing cost of living, the state's condemnation of young people's ways of living, and rampant mobilization and protest over land, identity and climate, many young people in British Columbia are struggling to live full lives. This collection of papers politicizes the research process and challenges dominant ideologies about youth by confronting the grown-up assumption that the wisdom of adults can best tell us how young people fare during financial crisis. Rooted in geographical political economy, this collection is anti-disciplinary in its exploration of young people's geographies in British Columbia, showing how capitalism works in the real world, through the eyes and experiences of young people. This collection is comprised of three papers. The first, Adult trouble shares strategies and approaches for adults working with young people. Incorporating original research with adults working and researching with young people, Adult trouble encourages adults to address the systemic imbalances young people experience, instead of repeating practices that affirm adultist hierarchies. The second, Work sucks, I know describes a summer of unrest and workplace transformation at the hands of young food service workers. Using Instagram as a mobilizing platform, the paper analyzes their posts alongside news media from the summer of 2020 to describe how these young workers changed their working conditions. The third, 'Being in life without wanting the world' describes how young people are dragged down by capitalism's bad objects. Through the work of Lauren Berlant, this paper shows how young people rework the good life promised to them when they grow up to be adults in capitalism.
126 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Mann, Geoff
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