Making it to
Adulthood: When Youth Emerge under
Continuous Political Constraint
Speaker: Brian K. Barber, PhD, is an International Security Program Fellow at New America, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies – both in Washington, DC – and Emeritus Professor of Child and Family Studies at the University of Tennessee, where he also founded and directed the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict. Please click here to visit Dr. Barber's website.
Many of the world's youth grow into
adulthood with very limited opportunity
and under significant and worsening
economic and political pressures.
Professor Barber will leave directly after the conference for his 40th extended stay in the Gaza Strip. He will summarize his 23-year study of the storied cohort of first intifada (1987-93) Palestinian youth as they have grown into their current adulthood.
The empirical study is of a
representative sample of 1,800 male and
female Palestinians of this cohort in
the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the
Gaza Strip as to their current (2011)
wellbeing and their life histories since
1987. The summary will cover study
design, funding, staging of multiple
methods, challenges, and central
findings. Such findings include
documentation of the evolving living
conditions and their impact on
indigenous conceptions of well-being and
suffering, identifying the most
injurious forms of direct and structural
political violence, as well as multiple
dimensions of resilience.
Professor Barber will also forecast the narrative non-fiction book he is now writing on several families in Gaza that he has known intimately over the decades. These deep narratives of three youth-cum-men and their families flesh out the empirical findings by illustrating cultural imperatives that individuals and societies insist on retaining (nationalism, education, family, determination for dignity and rights), and the differing life trajectories individuals take to achieve them despite the prevailing constraints.