This conference will be held on 7 - 8 July 2011 at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.
The number of young adults (ages 19-26) in nearly every country of Asia, except for China, Japan, and North Korea, has doubled or more than doubled between 1960 and 2000. Although a higher proportion of young people in the region are surviving childhood and achieving better education compared to previous generations, young adults face a complex and rapidly evolving situation where new opportunities coexist with major challenges. For instance, unemployment rates in many countries are two to three times higher than that for other age groups and labor market circumstances along with the rising housing price make it difficult for many young adults to attain economic independence. Young adults also face delayed marriage or non-marriage as well as risky substance and sexual behaviors as they enter their prime reproductive years. But with few Asian countries having adequate programs to help young adults with these challenges, what can family members, the community, and civil society do in the face of large-scale transnational labor migration and the fact that marriage behavior and family life are changing dramatically throughout Asia?
The trends of delayed marriage, lower marital fertility, and greater participation of married and single women entering the labor force are mimicking the changes that took place earlier in the industrialized societies of Europe and North America. While courtship practices retain some unique aspects of Asian family life, cohabitation among couples is still uncommon and childbearing outside marriage is still very rare. Traditional customs, like arranged marriages, has also nearly collapsed and the emergence of social networks for single men and women has not balanced out this decline. At the same time, the increasing acceptance of premarital sex and divorce in most of Asia’s modern societies furthermore reduces the attractiveness of marriage.
These demographic, ideological, and institutional changes can be attributed to socioeconomic development and can have profound implications for the attitudes and behavior of young adults in Asia. As many young adults face challenges in the labor market and social networks that delay their transitioning to adulthood, this conference aims to bring together academic researchers, public practitioners, and policy makers from across the disciplines and from across East, Southeast, and South Asia to examine these trends. Issues investigated may fall within the following themes:
1. Theories and methodologies of young adult research in Asia
2. Institutional frameworks and policies related to young adult's well-being
3. Changing values of work: labor force employment and young adults' productive potential
4. Young adults' labor market experience and living arrangements
5. Conceptions and youth attitudes towards courtship, marriage, and sexuality
We invite those interested in participating in the conference to submit original paper proposals. Selected papers from those accepted for presentation will be published in a monograph/special journal issue. Paper proposals should include a title, an abstract of 300 words, a short biography of 150 words, and should be submitted on the attached form and sent to Jonathan Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 March 2011. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 March 2011.
Based on the quality of proposals and the availability of funds, partial or full funding will be granted to successful applicants. Participants are therefore encouraged to seek funding for travel from their home institutions. Full funding will cover air travel to Singapore by the most economical means, plus board and lodging for the duration of the conference. your name, email, organisation/affiliation and contact number.
Dr Cheryll Alipio (email@example.com)
Asia Research Institute & Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore
Prof Jean Yeung (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
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