Young people’s spaces are diverse. They include spaces which are designed for young people’s use (for example schools), spaces that are open (most streets or public spaces) and places that are restricted according to the social networks or family situation in which young people find themselves (for example the home) or, due to their personal circumstances such as verbal or visual impairments, related to specific disabilities. The boundaries between these different spaces are fluid. They change over time as young people grow up, as rules or regulations change, or during particular times of the year, such as during the summer or during religious occasions or events. As a social geographer who conducts research with young people, I am interested in the ways in which young people have variable access to these different spaces according to the ways in which their social identities operate to include or empower them. This includes the mechanisms which work to include or exclude young people and the ways that young people respond to their experiences, how they use spaces and how they articulate their identities. Moreover, I am also interested in exploring and challenging the inequalities inherent in these processes in the hope that society can become more inclusive. In this chapter, I explore some of the social geographies of young people’s lives, focusing specifically upon home, school, street, the city and cyberspace. I have chosen these specific spaces as these are often the key spaces in young people’s everyday lives.
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