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Mapping intergenerationalities: the formation of youthful religiosities

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Abstract:

Recent geographical work has pointed to the complex and negotiated nature, and spatiality, of intergenerational relations. In this paper, we draw on research with young Scottish Christians and their guardians to explore the influence of intergenerationality on their religious identities, beliefs and practices. Our interest is to ask what these recent developments in the way we approach geographies of youth and age can tell us about the changing geographies of religion and vice versa. Much previous research has assumed a process of simple transmission, a static notion that is countered by interview data we present here. The diverse influences on the religiosity of young people – from institutions, religious leaders, culture, peers as well as the family – mean that intergenerational relations involve multiple and complex subject positions. We explore some of these positions, characterising them as correspondent, compliant, challenging and conflicting. We argue that intergenerational relations need to be understood as part of the site-based practices that are central to the development and experience of young people’s religious identities.

Keywords: Christianity; Scotland; age; intergenerationality; religion; young people

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5661.2010.00419.x

Affiliations: 1: School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, Email: peter.hopkins@ncl.ac.uk 2: Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9XP 3: Department of Geography, University of Durham, Durham DH1 3LE

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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