Youth / Edition 1

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This accessible book takes a fresh and original approach to the concept of youth, placing changes in the social construction of ‘youth’ within a more general story of the rise and fall of grand theory in social science. Gill Jones evaluates the current relevance of these wider social theories to understanding youth in late modernity in the light of key examples of empirical work on young people. Individual chapters are organized around the themes of action, identity, transition, inequality and dependence – conceptual themes which cross-cut young people’s lives. The book considers the validity of youth as a social concept and examines ways of identifying what is specific to young people without resorting to seeing them as a homogeneous group defined by their age; in so doing, it uncovers notions which are erroneously attributed to young people.

Youth represents a thought-provoking challenge to a new generation of social science students, youth researchers and practitioners to distance themselves from the politically- and emotively-charged issue of youth in contemporary society and move further towards re-theorizing the concept of youth in ways which are relevant to young people’s lives today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a book characterized by a combination of wide reading andpassion for young people, and it certainly helps keep the subjectof 'youth' alive as an important key concept."
Acta Sociologica

"Youth usefully embeds the category of youth within widerdebates in the social sciences, indicating how they have eitheraddressed the question of youth, or could be extrapolated to havesomething to add to theoretical approaches to youth."
British Journal of Sociology of Education

"The particular value of Jones' approach is that it moves easilybetween social, cultural and psychoanalytical theorists to revealwhat nuggets of value they hold in relation to youngpeople."
Shane Blackman, Canterbury Christ Church University forSociology

"It's all here, including the kitchen sink. Everything you everwanted to know about youth and a few other things you hadn'tthought of can be found between the pages of this book."
Mary Jane Kehily, The Open University forSociology

"A very handy little book for anyone who wants a simple butcomprehensive introduction to the social scientific study ofyouth."
Tracy Shildrick, University of Teeside forSociology

"An excellent textbook that will be used at many levels of study(and, I imagine, teaching!)."
Howard Williamson, University of Glamorgan forSociology

“In the latest of what has been a series of path-breakingdiscussions of the subject, Gill Jones cuts through the complexityof ‘youth’ to give an easily accessible account of theevolving theories in the field and the evidence that can bemarshalled in support of each of them. The breadth of herscholarship draws upon the wider framework of globalisation, andthe social, demographic and cultural upheavals in the context ofyoung people’s lives.”
John Bynner, University of London

"Jones has written a much-needed book that will help take theburgeoning field of youth studies to a more mature andintellectually stimulating level. Her book will become THE text touse in advanced courses as students and teachers co-construct thevarious issues and debates that have emerged as academics haveattempted to come to grips with the thorny issues inherent inunderstanding the changing nature of youth in changingsocieties."
James Côté, University of Western Ontario

"After over twenty years of empirical research and thoughtfulanalysis on the subject of this book Professor Jones has distilledher considerable experience into an authoritative text that willhelp countless students to write their essays and, I suspect, manyof their teachers to prepare their lectures. Gill Jones hasestablished herself as the doyenne of the sociology ofyouth."
Ray Pahl, University of Essex

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Gill Jones is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Keele University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

1 What is ‘Youth’?  1

2 Youth as Action 30

3 Youth as Identity 58

4 Youth as Transition 84

5 Youth and Inequality 112

6 Youth and Dependence 140

7 Youth in Society 164

Notes 184

References 188

Index 214

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