Stephen Young

Geographies of Youth Enterprise in India

Most of Professor Young’s research focuses on the everyday ways in which people – particularly youth – are negotiating economic change in India. Young’s doctoral work examined struggles surrounding the commercialization of microcredit programs in
coastal Andhra. Drawing on qualitative fieldwork he explored the multiple ways in which microcredit programs were both challenging and reproducing socio-economic inequalities in a small, rural town. He plans to conduct follow-up research on this topic in 2012.

Professor Young is currently involved in a project that examines the livelihood strategies and cultures of enterprise developed by educated, unemployed youth in Uttar Pradesh, India. He is also part of a large, multi-country study that will identify similarities and differences in the way that middle-class actors in different parts of the world engage with issues of poverty and inequality.

Professor Young has a strong interest in critical geopolitics. One other strand of collaborative research that he hopes to extend concerns US government efforts to control informal communication flows. This includes Cold War ‘psyops’ that sought to perfect the diffusion of propaganda in the early-1950s, initiatives to control the circulation of rumors believed to be inciting urban unrest in the late-1960s, and current efforts to harness social networking sites such as Facebook for geopolitical ends.