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Young People and the Climate Crisis

School Strikes for Climate: Young People, Dissent and Collective Identities in/for the Anthropocene

Our new book chapter – School strikes for climate: Young people, dissent and collective identities in/for the Anthropocene – has just been published.

In this chapter – in an edited collection titled Youth Collectivities: Cultures and Objects – James Goring, Meave Noonan and I engage with the emergence of the School Strikes for Climate (SS4C) youth collective that continues to protest the inaction and ‘dithering’ of governments, businesses and communities in relation to the climate crisis, and the mass extinctions of non-human life on the planet. 

We reference the role played by the ‘individual activism’ of Greta Thunberg, and the ways in which her ‘figure’ was influential in the emergence of SS4C. From these starting points, we identify some of the contours of a ‘sociological imagination’ for the Anthropocene that is capable of developing provocative accounts of this form of youth collectivity. 

In developing this account, we want to think differently about what we know of as the ‘human individual’, and what we call ‘collectivities’ and ‘groups’. 

Our aim is to move beyond the anthropocentrism, human exceptionalism, and methodological individualism that underpins the more conventional sense of a sociological imagination which characterises orthodox sociologies of youth. A ‘sociological imagination’ for the crises we are in, and which is capable of appreciating new collectivities such as SS4C, needs to be imaginative in describing, discussing and analysing the entanglements between the young human, the more than human, families, parents, schools, media and science and technology.

By Peter Kelly

I am a Professor of Education at Deakin University.

One reply on “School Strikes for Climate: Young People, Dissent and Collective Identities in/for the Anthropocene”

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