Youth and Culture in Late Modern Europe—Ethnic Minority Youth as Agents between Family and Individualisation


In everyday life young people with ethnic minority background, or “the new youth” in Europe, face both a social and cultural integration challenge. On the one hand, they are placed as other young people in an individualisation and identity process of late modern youth life which is demanding and important for future social success. On the other hand, they are challenged by a new cultural lifestyle which may be different from traditions and values of parents. This cultural integration process therefore may make it difficult to engage and become successful in late modern life. So, their cultural identity is challenged and in a change. This way of contrasting two different perspectives in young people’s lives seems difficult because of the different theoretical views embedded in these perspectives. What however both approaches seem to overlook is, that ethnic minority social integration is a process which has in its centre the individual and individualised agent. This focus combines the two perspectives. The integration process is mostly about the agent as an engaged player in his or her life. An agent is one who finds and uses energy in a process of becoming integrated in some kind of social and cultural life. In our paper, we use experiences from Danish research and our European research project Up2Youth to draw some lines in understanding the life of the group of “new youth” and their situation as caught in-between processes of objective and subjective social integration. Especially we will focus on young peoples activities as their solution to the process of developing late modern agency according to the demand of individualised social responsibility.

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Mørch, S. , Andersen, H. and Jensen, T. (2014) Youth and Culture in Late Modern Europe—Ethnic Minority Youth as Agents between Family and Individualisation. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 25-42. doi: 10.4236/jss.2014.21004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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