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Past Events

‘Mobile Transitions’: A Symposium on Global Youth, Transnational Mobilities and Transitions to Adulthood

The YMAP Project hosted a one-day symposium on Friday 23rd June 2023. The event was a pre-conference event aligned to the XX ISA World Congress of Sociology, which was held in Melbourne in 2023.

Young people aged 18-30 represent the most mobile cohort across the globe. Much of this mobility is encouraged and facilitated by current migration, education and social policy, reflecting the widely accepted view that transnational mobility will provide youth with enhanced life chances and competitive job skills as they transition to adulthood, as well as benefit the community more broadly through an increasingly cosmopolitan and agile workforce. Yet these assumptions have been largely untested, and research and policy have remained narrowly national in focus. This symposium brought together leading and emerging scholars who are researching transnational youth mobility to explore the impacts of mobility, immobilities and temporalities on young people’s transitions to adulthood. It featured a keynote session with Associate Professor Valentina Cuzzocrea, two themed sessions including a special session on the Youth Mobilities, Aspirations & Pathways Project, and a panel on careers outside of academia with recent migration studies PhDs.

Conceptualising Youth Mobilities amidst Social Challenges Workshop (1).png

About this Event

We were delighted to host our Conceptualising Youth Mobilities amidst Social Challenges Workshop on the 28th November 2022 at Deakin University and online. The workshop brought together over ten presenters in and outside Australia, including our two Keynote Speakers, Associate Professor Valentina Cuzzocrea (Università degli studi di Cagliari) and Associate Professor Catherine Gomes (RMIT). The workshop provided speakers and audiences with dedicated networking time and connections with like-minded researchers at all stages of their careers, including early career and postgraduate.

In this one-day workshop, we examined transnational youth mobilities amidst the social challenges of our contemporary world. How do young people construct belonging and place in a mobile world? What is the role of mobility in young people’s negotiation of social challenges? How might emerging forms of mobility (re)shape perceptions of adulthood and aspirations for youth transitions?

The theme of Social Challenges is particularly timely considering the growing knowledge of the challenges that young people face as society emerges from COVID-19 associated lockdowns; grappling with, in many cases, pre-existing issues including mental health, employment, racism and inequality, among others.


Keynote speakers

Associate Professor Valentina Cuzzocrea (Università degli studi di Cagliari)

Valentina Cuzzocrea is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Cagliari, Italy. Her expertise gravitates around youth issues. Her last work has appeared in ‘Higher Education’ (with Ewa Krzaklewska), ‘Scuola Democratica’ (with Fabio Bertoni and Giuliana Mandich), ‘Mobilities‘(with David Cairns) and ‘Journal of Youth Studies’. She has co-curated with Bjorn Schiermer and Ben Gook, ‘Forms of Collective Engagement in Youth Transitions: A Global Perspective’, Brill, 2021; ‘Youth Collectivities: Cultures and Objects’, Routledge, 2021, and, with Barbara G. Bello and Yuri Kazepov ‘Italian Youth in International Context’ (Routledge, 2020). She has been chair of the ESA RN 30 Youth and Generation. 

Associate Professor Catherine Gomes (RMIT)

Catherine Gomes is an ethnographer whose work contributes to the understanding of the evolving migration, mobility and digital media nexus. As a migration and mobility scholar, Catherine specialises on the social, cultural and communication spaces of transient migrants, especially international students, their wellbeing and their digital engagement. Catherine is editor of the Media, Culture and Communication in Migrant Societies book series (Amsterdam University Press) and founding editor of Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration (Intellect Books). Catherine is also co-convenor of the Mobilities, Migrations and Diverse Communities (MMDC) research group Catherine was also a recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher (DECRA) in 2013-2016. She is the 2021 recipient of the A Noam Chomsky Global Connections Shining Star Research Achievement Award for her book Parallel Societies of International Students in Australia: Connections, Connections and Disconnections (Routledge, 2022). In January 2023 Catherine will be Professor of culture and communication at RMIT University.


Associate Professor Valentina Cuzzocrea (Università degli studi di Cagliari)

“Sometimes it’s not as you’ve imagined…but it’s ok”. Italian mobile youth coping with and in pandemic times


Associate Professor Catherine Gomes (RMIT University)

Shock temporality: international students coping with disrupted lives and suspended futures

Dr Sazana Jayadeva (University of Cambridge)

Education influencers and insider knowledge: New forms of study abroad expertise mediating student mobility from India to Germany

Hao Zheng (Deakin University) 

Chinese queer female students’ digital discourses and practices in transnational transitions

Associate Professor Grace Spencer (Anglia Ruskin University) & Dr Jill Thompson (University of Sheffield)

Young migrants on the move – (re)constructing identities and aspirations

Francesca Sidoti (Western Sydney University) 

The role of place in young adult movement: examining the "missing" generation of Katoomba, NSW

Giulia Marchetti (University of Western Australia)

Becoming adults elsewhere. The recent migration of young Italians to Australia

Yan Wang (Western Sydney University) 

Exploring the interaction between intergenerational relationships and youth mobile transition – A comparison between PRC-born Chinese (PRCC) Youth in Australia and Australia-born Chinese (ABC) Youth in China

Alexandra Lee (Deakin University) 

Place for a Future? Examining transnational mobility as an enabling factor in young Asian Australians’ (re)imaginings of the future


Dr Dana McKay (RMIT University)

Dr Caterina Satta (Università degli studi di Cagliari)

Dr Sylvia Ang (Monash University)

Alexandra Lee (Deakin University)

Hao Zheng (Deakin University)

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