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date: 01 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This essay introduces the concept of ‘historical violence’ in the lives of young Filipinos, especially those who are unemployed and referred to locally as the istambay (on standby) phenomenon. Drawing on the work of José Rizal, a nineteenth-century Filipino social thinker and activist, the essay offers a dialogue between the past and present locating the istambay phenomenon in the colonial experience of a nation. It argues for the necessity of historicizing violence, and recognizing the violent effects of colonialism, in order to understand and challenge stereotypes such as those regarding young Filipinos’ attitudes toward work. Historical accounts demonstrate how colonization continues to affect life stages such as youth. Rizal’s narratives of sustainability, precolonial history, and globalization are linked to current sociologies of youth, religion, and public policy.

Keywords: istambay, tambay, historical violence, Filipinos, Philippines, José Rizal, colonial history, Catholic Philippines

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