Issues in Brief, No. 21, October 2011

21-IIB-coverAdulthood Denied: Youth Dissatisfaction and the Arab Spring
By M. Chloe Mulderig

October 2011 (8 pages)
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This Issues in Brief discusses the role that youth played in “the Arab Spring” of 2011 in terms of the inability of young people to progress to adulthood following traditional cultural channels and rites of passage.  M. Chloe Mulderig, a 2011 Pardee Graduate Summer Fellow and Boston University doctoral candidate in anthropology who has done extensive field work in the Arab world, discusses the social, cultural, and market forces that have thrust much of a generation of Arab youth into a “liminal state of pre-adulthood” and the implications that has for the future of Arab countries.  “The future stability of the region requires the creation of opportunities that reintegrate youth into Arab economies, religious communities, and social networks through the achievement of adult status,” she concludes.

M. Chloe Mulderig is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Boston University and a 2011 Pardee Graduate Summer Fellow. She has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork throughout the Arab world since 2003, including extensive interviews with Moroccan youth during the first half of 2011. Her current research focuses on the creation of religious identity among young women in Fes, Morocco.