Youth Cultures, Values, Representations and Social Conditions

Considering the SAHWA Project’s overall goal (a full understanding of youth trends in the AMCs), the analysis of the structural and economic factors that shape the lives of young people, even if necessary and relevant, is not sufficient. To address the lack of research in this field, the SAHWA project encompasses a special focus on the cultural and symbolic work of young people, in an effort to give meaning to and handle the constraints and resources linked to the structural position of youth.

In this regard, this Work Package will place an emphasis on the relevance of culture and cultural dimensions in the study of youth. Indeed, this research includes youth values, norms, cultural orientations and practices in order to identify, describe and analyze the different norms, social values and cultural practices of young people of the five countries of study (Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia). Such a study will offer a better understanding of the role of young people as cultural agents, in the process of sociocultural and political change, democratic transition and youth empowerment.

In other words, in order to paint a picture of the changing youth social values, especially in terms of culture and civic participation, this specific research will intend to answer the following questions:

How has the cultural construction of youth changed in Arab Mediterranean countries?  To what extent do youth appear as a condition marked by specific cultural expressions and subjectivities, rather than simply a transitional stage of life? How do the changes in the transition to adulthood impact the emergence of new cultural trends among Arab youth? What are the strategies that young men and women utilize for constructing their identity, shaping their biographical projects and giving meaning to their social world, in the changing contexts of Arab Mediterranean countries?


•    Policy report on public space and pluralism

•    Shababpedia: web database about youth conditions, aspirations, self-representations and discourses.

•    Life Stories: short pieces of video visual narratives representing young people from the AMCs

•    Documentary based on the compilation of life stories and interviews recorded during the fieldwork



Finnish Youth Research Network (Finland) and American University in Cairo (Egypt)


Partners involved

Barcelona Center for International Affairs (Spain)

Center of Arab Women for Training and Research (Tunisia)

Centre de Recherche en Economie Appliquée pour le Développement (Algeria)

Institut des Hautes Etudes de Management (Morocco)

Middle East Technical University (Turkey)

Lebanese American University (Lebanon)

University of Lleida (Spain)





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