Why Focus on East Asian Youth? There is plenty of information available on the subject of East Asian youth and youth cultures, but it tends to focus on analyzing and generalizing youth behaviours, values, and consumer preferences. Young people are spoken for, spoken to, but are rarely speaking for themselves about their views on society and their role in the world. As we step into the future, youth will increasingly form the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, scholars, parents, and, of course, citizens. These citizens will have a stake in their own communities, and also in this incredibly interconnected, globalized world.
This is where The Youth Element enters the conversation.
The Youth Element is a podcast produced by youth representing youth. Instead of trying to understand 'East Asian youth' as a singular category of analysis, APF Canada's Justin and Linda put the microphone directly into the hands of their millennial counterparts to make sense of the bigger questions around society, culture, politics, economics, national defence, and even geopolitics – and all through the narrated stories of youth and their everyday realities, challenges, and motivations living as citizens in their respective communities.
In their journey throughout the series, Justin and Linda travel across five cities in East Asia – Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul – to listen to the voices of millennials and learn more about contemporary East Asia through their subjects' views and voices.
Latest EpisodeJune 12, 2018 | Episode 8
Talking Asia with Canadian Millennials
Canadian millennials are a complex group. From being described as tech-savvy trendsetters to selfish narcissists, there are a range of differing opinions that describe this generation. Likewise, when it comes to thinking about Canada’s relationship with rising Asia, Canadian youth have a diverse range of opinions on how they think Canada fits into an increasingly Asia-centric world.
December 14, 2017 | Episode 7
Visions of the Future
This is it – the series finale of The Youth Element. In this episode, join co-hosts Justin and Linda as they break down, one last time, what their peers abroad think of when it comes to “adulting.” More specifically, tune in to hear about millennial concerns over growing into adulthood in Taipei, Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul – from incredibly intensive job application systems, to long-term, but just-as-real, worries over pensions!
October 26, 2017 | Episode 6
Consumption or Happiness in Uncertain Times
Millennials are getting a lot of flack for their #sorrynotsorry lifestyles, attitudes, and spending patterns – as evidenced by the now-infamous #avocadotoast debate. But in a (post)neoliberal world, where economies, housing markets, and job markets worldwide are still reeling in the aftershocks of the 2008 financial crisis, millennials find themselves living in economic uncertainty and precarity.
October 12, 2017 | Episode 5
Politically Charged Youth in South Korea
On March 10, 2017, South Korea’s constitutional court announced in a unanimous 8–0 decision the impeachment of then-President Park Geun-hye – marking the season finale of a high-stakes political drama that captured global attention beginning at the end of 2016. But as the world tuned in week after week for the outrageous rumours and stranger-than-fiction revelations that surrounded the President Park, it was South Korea’s youth that truly took centre stage as they stepped out into the social and political limelight of their divided nation.
October 5, 2017 | Episode 4
Beyond Sunflowers and Umbrellas: Social Movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan
In 2014, two large social movements emerged in East Asia – the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan and the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong. Both movements were sparked and sustained by youth and their frustration with the social, economic and political status quo in each society. In this second part of our three-part series on political engagement, we continue our investigation into recent events in the region and explore how East Asia’s youth have overcome their ‘allergy’ to political participation.
September 28, 2017 | Episode 3
Japanese Politics: The 'Allergic Reaction'
East Asia’s political scene has become increasingly vibrant in recent years. As youth continue to face various social and economic growing pains in their respective societies, an unprecedented uptick in active political engagement has occurred across the region. In this first part of our three-part series on political engagement, we examine some of the recent happenings in the region by looking at how and why there tends to be negative connotations attached to the idea of student activism.
September 21, 2017 | Episode 2
Military Service: National Duty or Nuisance?
When we consider the concept of “youth culture,” the military isn’t something that necessarily pops to mind. And it's definitely not the first topic we associate with millennials, or what it means to be living as a youth in East Asia. But if you stop to think about it, the military is definitely something that plays a large role in the lives of many Asia Pacific millennials, and especially so in South Korea and in Taiwan, where military service is mandatory.
September 14, 2017 | Episode 1
Young Beginnings: Nostalgia, Youth, and School
The first episode of The Youth Element is all about new beginnings: the beginning of this podcast series, the beginning of our personal journeys in creating this project, as well as the beginning of a brand new school year. So, in the first half of this episode, join us, Justin and Linda, as we break down what The Youth Element is all about, and as we offer our listeners a sneak preview of what’s to come throughout the series. Then, stay tuned as we dive straight into our first topic of the series: school.