Introduction


The objective of this document is to describe and contextualise the different maps and graphics that compose the SAHWA Cartography of Change (deliverable D1.5, led by UdL). The SAHWA Cartography of Change is open access, based on WebGIS, and presents a cartography of political, social and cultural changes in the Arab Mediterranean countries (AMCs).

The SAHWA Cartography of Change has considered all quantitative and qualitative data generated in the SAHWA Youth Survey and SAHWA Ethnographic Fieldwork. The project generated data providing a series of youth indicators that it is mapped as social and cultural indicators in each case study country and on a regional comparative scale. This data is capable of display in a “multi-scale format”, that is to say, from local scale to regional. Graphics and maps of regional and national scale are produced using quantitative data and local maps and graphics are produced using qualitative data.

The Cartography of Change is a useful tool for every researcher attempting to achieve SAHWA’s general objectives of mapping change in the Arab Mediterranean countries (AMCs) on those issues that may empower youth as a central political, economic and social actor and highlight the peculiarities associated with different cultural references that situate the “young” as the subject of an “ambivalent” social space. In this sense, some relevant questions for reading the maps are:

1. What is the role being played by the so-called rural/urban dichotomy in fuelling youth difficulties (male and female)? Is “the city” a synonym of “progress” that tends to facilitate social inclusion and the recognition of women after the recent revolutions in countries like Egypt or Tunisia, for example? Or does the city also reinforce “old” and “new” forms of gender oppression?

2. What are the changes taking place in today’s AMCs regarding the social values and norms of young men and women in relation to family, gender relations, politics, participation and religion?

3. How can the younger generations of these countries drive new cultural trends via new communication channels?

4. How do young people appropriate and use urban spaces as places for expressing new practices? Is the creation of new lifestyles an indicator of socio-political transitions?

As with the other SAHWA Project deliverables, to build this Cartography of Change a mixed method has been applied. Consequently, the quantitative part of the investigation gives us a firm foundation when talking about more general results and tendencies. The advantage of using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods is, on the one hand, that we will be able to answer the classic quantitative questions “how much” and “how common”; and on the other hand, we will be able to delve into specific questions related with the young people’s perception of their own reality. By mixing quantitative and qualitative analysis, we will be able to estimate how socioeconomic, rural/urban, gender and ethnicity variables affect and correlate with attitudes towards plans, unemployment, education and lifestyle. With this series of maps, we also draw a more general as well as holistic picture of the situation of youth in Arab Mediterranean countries by mixing quantitative and qualitative data coming from both SAHWA’s Youth Survey and Ethnographic Fieldwork. 

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