Rights of Passage
Rights of Passage
The epilogue shows that by 2000, whether following their favorite DJs to clubs in Ibiza, scrambling across Europe with discounted passes, or cramming into hostels, backpacking across Europe had become a rite of passage for the middle-class young westerner. This played a role in the development of the social body of youth and the transnational youth culture it displayed. Moreover, such practices of cross-border mobility have had a globalizing effect as the postwar youth travel culture developed in Western Europe spread well beyond the continent on a global scale, such as the development of the Gap Year. This youth mobility serves as a contrast to the current globalization flows of migration and suggests ways to complicate our understanding of it, particularly given the current European border-crisis as the European Union confronts both the post-colonial influx of people as well as the United Kingdom’s ongoing “Brexit.” How to maintain the freedom of movement for some but not others vexes current European policymakers as, on the one hand, individual transnational mobility is the most popular dimension of European integration while on the other hand, a borderless Europe complicates measures to address what are thought to be economic, ethnic, and security threats.
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