Reframing sociologies of young people in a ‘code red’ for humanity


REDI hosted an event on Monday 26 June 2023 that brought together experts in sociologies of young people, education, work, and identities to discuss the current and emerging crises of capitalism, the climate, forced migrations, and conflict and extremism – what the UN Secretary General António Guterres has called a ‘code red for humanity’.

“The evening contributed to ongoing and emerging debates about what sorts of innovative theoretical, conceptual and methodological work is demanded of researchers in this field,” said Professor Peter Kelly. “It did this by showcasing some of the most innovative and exciting Australian Research Council funded work being undertaken by REDI academics who are engaging these challenges and opportunities in different ways,”

The presenters were REDI members Dr David Farrugia, Dr Eve Mayes and Dr Tebeje Molla. They are all currently leading projects funded by the Australian Research Council under the Discovery Early Career Awards (DECRA) or Future Fellowship schemes.

Dr Farrugia spoke about Reframing how youth become workers: Identity and the politics of immaterial value. His paper rethinks the way that young people become workers in terms of shifts in the relationship between identity, value and citizenship.

Dr Eve Mayes presented on her book chapter Young people learning climate justice: Education beyond schooling through youth-led climate justice activism. This presentation synthesised what and how young people engaged in climate justice activism are learning, outside of school, through climate justice activism, in alternative sites of learning.

In his presentation, African heritage youth with refugee backgrounds: Higher education opportunities and persisting challenges, Dr Tebeje Molla reported on the findings of a project that investigated higher education participation among African heritage youth with refugee backgrounds. Many of these young people hold high aspirations for their futures and benefit from flexible pathways to higher education but they face challenges such as early educational disadvantage, negative racial relations, and the policy invisibility of refugees.

“These researchers have made, and will continue to make, exciting and innovative contributions to the work of reframing sociologies of young people, education, work and identity in a ‘code red’ for humanity,” said Professor Kelly.

The event was also an opportunity to launch a number of books written and edited by REDI members that also made a contribution to the evening’s discussion:



News 5 July 2023