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Youth TG Nov 28 event image

Youth and money matters: Precarity, wellbeing and digital media

A TASA Youth Thematic Group symposium
Monday 28 November 9am-4pm

Register here!



Issues related to precarity and economic insecurity are central concerns for many sociologists studying the lives of young people. However, direct discussions of money and its use and meaning in everyday life remain rare in youth sociology. This is despite the growing prevalence of financial technologies (fintech) such as buy-now-pay-later services and investment apps that are, in many cases, targeted at young adult consumers who are imagined as ‘digital natives’ (van der Heide & Želinský, 2021). Young adults’ engagement(s) with emerging forms of fintech and digital media is not well understood in either scholarly research or regulation, with the pace of their development outstripping the pace of understanding in both industries (see ASIC, 2020). While some young people are bearing the brunt of ‘intersecting crises’ (Moore et al., 2021) with profound impacts on personal finances, other young people are experiencing relative financial and economic privilege and wealth accumulation. Representations on social media platforms, for instance, circulate content by well-resourced young people promoting their lifestyles and products, where building wealth and investing in ‘one’s future’ is increasingly understood as a necessary wellbeing practice for young adults. In this context, debt (e.g., from starting a business or investing in education) is valued for its capacity to build future wealth and social and cultural opportunities.

This one-day symposium aligns money matters with some of the central themes that occupy the work of youth sociologists, including social media and digital technologies, family life, work and (un)employment and precarity. In so doing, it asks presenters and participants to consider how their existing work and insights might intersect with or be applied and extended to an area of rapid social, cultural and technological change. The event will allow participants to bring their expertise to specific questions at the cutting edge of this area of inquiry.

Please note: We are aware that this event is taking place directly prior to the TASA conference, and in the midst of many other conferences. For this reason, we have decided to hold round table discussions rather than conventional paper sessions. This format will cut down on prior preparation and prioritise dialogue. You do not need to submit an abstract for this event, you only need to answer a few questions so that we understand your interests.

Preliminary schedule:

 Time  Activity 
9.00 - 9.15                              
Welcome and registration
 9.15 – 10.00 Keynote - Professor Lisa Adkins, FASS, University of Sydney
10.00 -10.30 Morning tea break
10.30 - 11.15 Panel discussion #1: Industry and community panel - ‘What matters for young people and their money now and into the future?’; Panellists: an online ‘finfluencer’, a representative for a digital banking group, and more.
11.15 - 12.00 Panel discussion #2: ‘Youth, debt and investment’; Panellists: A/Prof Steven Threadgold, Dr Julia Coffey, Dr Benjamin Hanckel and Dr Natalie Hendry
12.00 - 12.45 Lunch
12.45 - 2.00 Round table discussions #1
2.00 - 2.30 Afternoon tea
2.30 - 3.30 Round table discussions #2
3.30 - 4.00 Wrap-up and farewell

Event contacts: Julia Cook, Ben Hanckel, Natalie Hendry

Location: 100 Leicester street, Parkville, University of Melbourne

Registration and fees:

$20 for HDR students and unwaged/insecurely employed (members & non-members)

$25 for TASA members

$30 for non-members

Financial Support: As this event is taking place directly prior to the TASA conference we are anticipating that many of the attendees will already be in Melbourne. As such, rather than offering travel bursaries for postgrad students and unwaged/insecurely employed, we are offering three open bursaries of $200 which may be used for expenses including (but not limited to): transport, an additional night of accommodation, childcare/care of family member, accessibility assistance.

Register here!


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Group Conveners:

Naomi Berman
University of Tokyo

Julia Cook
Julia Cook
University of Newcastle

Ben Hanckel
   Benjamin Hanckel
   Western Sydney       University

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