The "sociology of youth" too often implies an identifiable distinction between young people (adolescents or post-adolescents), who are in the process of constructing their identity, and adults, who have already completed this process (Cicchelli, 2001). And the sociology of the media and ICT has adopted the same distinction. If one is not talking about adulthood, one is presumed to be talking about youth. But the concept of youth is itself problematic. How is it to be defined? Who is young? Who is not? The question is particularly acute in a context where the prolongation of education has led to the status of youth becoming less determinate (Bigot, 2007). The categorisation of age groups is socially constructed and arbitrary, and the issue is a contentious one in all societies. An individual can be young for one person and old for another (Bourdieu, 1992).

In recent years, the term "young adult" has been much used by the media and the cultural industries, but also sociologists; and this has added further complexity to the analysis. Though an apparent oxymoron, it denotes a concept to which terms such as "adolescent" or "young person" are inadequate. It is pivotal to the study of interdependences between generations, as well as relations between young adults and the institution of the family (Cicchelli, 2001). In some Mediterranean countries, for example, a growing number of people aged over 30 continue to live with their parents, or are financially dependent on them (Chambaz, 2001), whereas in other cases it is these same people who are the breadwinners. In other words young adults, generally between the ages of 18 and 30, are at the boundary between dependence and autonomy; between education and a career; between living with their parents and living apart from them.

The aim of this conference is to examine the relationship between young adults and cultural products in a digital, globalised age. The focus will be on the logics and the modes of production, distribution, circulation and consumption of cultural products intended for young adults in the diversified geographical space of the Mediterranean.