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

We were delighted to welcome SBS journalist Francesca Valdinoci to our event 'Mobile Transitions': A symposium on Global Youth, Transnation Mobilities and Transitions to Adulthood. Francesca interviewed one of the YMAP Chief Investigators, Professor Loretta Baldassar alongside Keynote Speaker Associate Professor Valentina Cuzzocrea and Associate Professor Marco Alberio.

Media and Publications

‘The pandemic helped me!’ Queer international students’ identity negotiation with family on social media in immobile times

A new article by YMAP PhD candidate Hao Zheng, who examines queer international students’ negotiation of sexuality and family ties maintenance during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Movers. A Journey to Adulthood

YMAP PhD candidate, Giulia Marchetti's documentary 'The Movers. A Journey to Adulthood' premiered at the Eleventh Biennial Conference of the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies at The University of Western Australia, 12-14 December 2022. The documentary film is based on the YMAP Italian sample (immigrants in Australia and returness in Italy). 

Return mobilities and Italian youth transitions: new meanings around adulthood

This paper investigates the transitions to adulthood of young returnees who have gone back to Italy after a period of living and working in Australia. Adopting the ‘mobile transitions’ approach, we illustrate the ways in which mobility affects transitions to adulthood. 

Sideways moves to adult life: the transnational mobility and transitions of young Italians to Australia

We argue that trajectories towards adulthood can be altered, anticipated, delayed and suspended by transnational mobility, and that young Italians actively renegotiate family expectations and migration requirements as they build ‘adult’ lives. 

"Time out: the gap year for the thirty-somethings"

YMAP Chief Investigator Anita Harris was featued in The Australian article 'Time out: the gap year for the thirty-somethings'. In this article, Harris highlights how findings from the YMAP study have shown that the 'gap year' has changed, "When it comes to an adult gap year, the whole boundary between youth and adulthood is very blurred". Increasingly, the gap year is connected to young people's personal growth and career opportunities, as Harris states, "Many were trying to figure out what adulthood might mean to them. They reported that mobility enabled them to work on the aspects of achieving an adult life that mattered to them.”

The article can be found in The Australian, April 15, 2022

Upwardly mobile: How travel became more than just a way to broaden the mind
"Travel is traditionally seen as an activity to undertake before settling down. The pull of global city lifestyles and an opportunity for new experiences and a period of “time out” have long been important drivers for young travellers. But nowadays, going abroad is taking on new meanings."

A new article  by our Chief Investigators Anita Harris, Shanthi Robertson & Loretta Baldassar in the youth-themed April issue of The Sociological Review Magazine.
Italian youth mobility: The case for a Mediterranean model of ‘family-centred’ mobile transitions
This article seeks to advance our understanding of contemporary transnational youth mobility, drawing on the concept ‘mobile transitions’ to explore scholarly approaches to the mobility practices of young Italians moving abroad.
Australia’s young expats: mobility aspirations and pathways in the pandemic
Young people are re-shaping their life plans beyond traditional pathways
Settling down in time and place? Changing intimacies in mobile young people's migration and life courses
Transnational mobility is increasingly presented to middle‐class youth globally as a way to secure economic futures in precarious times by enhancing educational and employment opportunities. However, little is said about the benefits and impacts of mobility for social and intimate life and specifically how it is situated within, disruptive of, or incorporated into young people's ideas about relationships as they navigate uncertain pathways to adulthood...
Concerns that Minister's plan to expand Commonwealth’s backpacker visa initiative will lead to exploitation
YMAP team member, Dr Shanthi Robertson spoke with ABC News 24 about why she thinks Federal Immigration Minister David Coleman’s plans to expand the Commonwealth's backpacker visa initiative might cause work exploitation.
Indians, Mexicans set for Aussie work under backpacker visa expansion backed by farm lobby
Commonwealth plans to expand working holiday visas to ease farm labour shortages could leave foreign workers in danger of exploitation. Although the National Farmers’ Federation supports the move, Dr Shanthi Robertson suggests two aspects — the extension of the scheme to a third year and the tweak to allow workers to stay at the same employer for 12 months, up from six months — were concerning. "The fundamental issue is with tying a particular work situation to obtaining a visa and obtaining more time in Australia," she said. "That always opens things up to huge amount of exploitation."
The Impact of Taking a Gap Year

How are young Australians affected by gap years? Dr Robertson spoke to 2ser Weekend Breakfast Show about the challenges & experiences youth face in a gap year.

"It's less about being away and more about the challenges of coming home particularly if people have been away for a few years. So sometimes reintegrating back into life in Australia is much harder than people anticipate - particularly in the workforce."

Gap year and beyond: What are the long term implications of young people's overseas experiences?

Listen in as our very own Dr Robertson spoke to ABC Radio Melbourne about the long term implications of young people's overseas experiences.


"Often when people talk and reflect about the experience, they don't talk about career or economic outcomes. They talk about that sense of personal development and how that can obviously be part of what makes coming back so hard."

* Please note - segment starts at 48:55

New research investigates the long-term effects of overseas experiences on young Australians
Whether it be as overseas workers, international students or travellers, young people between the ages of 25-39 account for the greatest number of long-term departures amongst Australians. At this time of year in particular, high school and university graduates have the opportunity to choose their next path, and many will consider an overseas experience.
Gap years, working holidays, 'voluntourism': Have we been sold a lie?

From gap years to working holidays, ‘voluntourism’ to company transfers, more young Australians than ever are moving overseas.

Whether it’s for work, study, or simply a new adventure, a stint abroad has become a national rite of passage.

But what happens when you come home?

Mobile transitions: a conceptual framework for researching a generation on the move
This paper argues for a renewed research agenda on the transnational mobility of young people across both youth studies and migration studies. We review key literature across these fields, before arguing for a new conceptual framework that helps to further extend the emerging interdisciplinary space of ‘youth mobility studies’ (Raffaetà, Baldassar and Harris 2016).
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