News story

Dr. Najam Abbas speaks on the impact of socio-economic transition on Pamiri youth

25th April 2007

Dr. Abbas’ talk explored the impact of socio-economic transition on education and careers of the youth of isolated mountainous regions. In particular, he looked closely at recent challenges faced by Tajikistan’s Pamiri youth who are completing their education and entering the labour market, making comparisons with the challenges their parents had faced.

map of the Pamirs


The aim of the talk was to examine the complex interactions that are encountered by young people in attempting to achieve their aspirations. An understanding of the impact of socio-economic mobility requires familiarisation with the factors defining the available pathways to meaningful adulthood through educational and occupational attainments. It further necessitates a study of the sense-making devices utilised by young people in their attempts to understand their own lives and future opportunities.


The presentation examined the constructive contribution Pamiri society could make to enable its youth to generate the social capital vital for civil society, through creativity in education and connectivity in everyday life.
Dr Abbas, concluding that the challenges that arise are related to ideas about the utility of education and purposefulness of a young adult’s life, referred to inter-linked and inter-related factors such as isolation, levels of employment, and opportunities to travel or study abroad. He suggested that there is a wider need for studies to develop and define concepts of disadvantage or social exclusion in mountainous settings.