Riots on 1st May 2002 - Social Conflict and Youth Culture in Zurich

Duration: Jun 2002 to Jun 2003

In Collaboration With
Dr. T. Gabriel, University of Zurich

The project investigates the violent riots on Labour Day 2002 at the city of Zurich. It tries to explore patterns of social conflicts in the area of youth cultures and aims at theoretical explanations for them. Caused by its violence the rebellion on 1st May in Zurich marks a pivotal point in social, ethnic, and cultural conflicts, although the demonstration itself has a long tradition. The attempt to understand the phenomena of youth rebellion, to make social conflicts explicable and knowable, have been undermined and challenged by new perspectives that emerged during the last decade of the twentieth century in the cities of western societies. One challenge - beside others - is migration and the problem of integration of different ethnic groups. Alongside these changes in the way we have to conceptualise the scientific problem there have been shifts in the way that the city attempts to respond to these social and cultural transformations.

The main research objectives are:
What are the political and social features that characterise the protesting actors?
Which motivations, aims and intentions do the participating actors name?
How can the city and its social policies respond to it?
How can any authority intervene if social conflicts occur without being authoritarian, without enforcing the violence and social exclusion?
The expected outcomes should primarily lead to a better understanding of the involved actors and groups. Secondly the empirical findings should mark solutions for social policies on youth with regard to urban tensions.

Index Terms
Youth Culture, Youth Rebellion, Social Conflict, Social Policy Contacts

Supported by
Other public sources
City of Zurich

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