BJØRN HALLSTEIN HOLTE
VID Specialized University, Oslo, Norway

I am a PhD Candidate at VID Specialized University in Oslo, Norway. A social anthropologist, my main areas of academic interest are socioeconomic inequalities, social and system integration, and social exclusion. My research is on youth in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Nordic countries. I am currently working on youth marginalisation and religious organisations in Oslo, and have previously conducted fieldwork to study privileged upbringings at a boarding school in Kenya. My work has appeared in YOUNG – Nordic Journal of Youth Research and in Volunteer Economies: The Politics and Ethics of Voluntary Labour in Africa, an edited volume published by James Currey.
Publications
The concept of ‘not in education, employment, or training’ (NEET) has gained wide usage in youth research over the last two decades. This article reviews the concept’s background and discusses how it is linked to population statistics. Drawing on literature within the fields of anthropology, sociology, and educational research, as well as field research conducted in Norway, the article discusses how, by meeting young people categorized as NEET for interviews and participant observation, researchers can address other aspects of their lives than have been counted. Researchers who meet young people find that the concept means different things in everyday speech than in published research. The article concludes by suggesting how research based on meeting young people categorized as NEET can contribute to a body of knowledge that has mainly been produced by counting NEET young people.

See the journal’s website for access options.
This chapter is based on ethnographic research among students from an international boarding school in Kenya who volunteer at a Bible Club for children from poor families. I show how volunteering as encounters across vast socioeconomic differences feeds into the formation of the students as privileged subjects. I understand volunteering in relation to two other modes of engagement with the ‘people outside the gates’ of the school that are commonly portrayed in the anthropological literature on gated communities: their exclusion as peril and their inclusion as labour. Volunteering works to a very different effect from these. While volunteering, the students relate to the children as members of a public towards which they have responsibilities but of which they are not themselves part. Volunteering thereby affirms the students’ privilege and instils dispositions for loving and responsible exercise of it in them.

See the publisher’s website or JSTOR for more information and access options.
I have been a seminar tutor for bachelor level courses in social anthropology and development studies at the University of Oslo (autumn 2011 to spring 2013). I have also been an external examiner for master theses at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo.