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Ebook Information

Citizens in the Present

Youth Civic Engagement in the Americas

A transnational study of active and engaged urban youth

Although media coverage often portrays young people in urban areas as politically apathetic or disruptive, this book provides an antidote to such views through narratives of dedicated youth civic engagement and leadership in Chicago, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro. This innovative comparative study provides nuanced accounts of the personal experiences of young people who care deeply about their communities and are actively engaged in a variety of public issues. Examining the role--or absence--of youth in contemporary public and political discourse, the authors investigate what motivates young people in these cities, which forces influence them, and what their actions reveal about democratic practices in cities in the Americas today. Drawing from extensive interviews and personal narratives from the young activists themselves, Citizens in the Present provides a vibrant portrait of a new, politically involved generation.

"A much needed and timely contribution that celebrates the commonalities among youth leaders on a hemispheric scale. The book offers a unified voice that rejects the fragmentation of difference, and with thought-provoking youth interviews, convincingly articulates today's concept of youth leadership. These authors help their readers, whether scholars, educators or activists, effectively situate and challenge their own ideas of youth leaders."--Latino Studies

"Investigating the experience of young activists, their motivations, and the forms of their engagement, this innovative book presents a refreshingly optimistic picture of dedicated and engaged young people."--Anne B. Smith, coeditor of Advocating for Children: International Perspectives on Children's Rights

Maria de los Angeles Torres is professor of Latin American and Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Irene Rizzini is a professor at the Pontifica Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the director of the International Center for Research on Childhood. Norma del Río is a professor of psychology in the department of education and communication at the Metropolitan Autonomous University–Cochimilco (UAM) in Mexico City.

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