Understanding Youth In Late Modernity

Understanding Youth In Late Modernity

by Alan France


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This illuminating new book embeds our understanding of the youth question within a historical context. It shows how the ideas of past political action, in conjunction with the diverse paradigms of social science disciplines, have shaped modern conceptions of the youth question. This relationship between the political and the academic is then explored through a detailed examination of contemporary debates about youth, in areas such as; transitions, education, crime policy, consumption and youth culture. From this analysis the book is able to show how the youth question in late modernity is being shaped. This important text includes: A historical overview of the making of modern youth, identifying major changes that took place over three centuries, Examples of how political and academic responses construct youth as a social problem, An evaluation of the impact of social change in late modernity on our understanding of the youth question and the everyday lives of the young.

The book concludes by suggesting that in contemporary understandings of the youth question significant differences exist between the political and the academic. Major challenges exist if this gap is to be addressed and a new public social science needs to emerge that reconstitutes debates about youth within a form of communicative democracy. Understanding Youth in Late Modernity is key reading for students and academics interested in the historical conception of the youth question, its evolution throughout modernity and endeavours to find a solution.

About the Author:
Alan France is Professor of Social Policy Research at Loughborough University and is the Director of the Centre for Research inSocial Policy (CRSP)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780335215348
Publisher: Open University Press
Publication date: 04/01/2007
Pages: 218
Product dimensions: 0.46(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     x
Introduction     1
Outline of the book     3
The making of modern youth     6
Introduction     6
Pre-modernity: The age of place, tradition and custom     6
Early modernity and the youth question     8
The growth of the interventionist state     12
Welfare capitalism and politics of inclusion, 1945-80     14
The arrival of the 'teenager'     16
Youth in crisis: The impact of unemployment     17
Youth, crime and disorder     19
The 'girl question' in post-war Britain     21
Conclusion     23
Science and the age of reason: The 'discovery of adolescence'     24
Introduction     24
Modernity, science and the age of reason     24
G. Stanley Hall and the 'discovery of adolescence'     25
Adolescence as a 'normal' part of the life course     27
Criminology and the influence of 'science'     27
Positive criminology and its impact     29
The Chicago School and early sociology     32
Functionalism: Youth as a social institution     34
Anomie, subculture and delinquency     36
The influence of American socialscience     38
Conclusion     40
Social science and the politicisation of the youth question     41
Introduction     41
Youth as 'a generation for itself'     41
Class, culture and the youth question     43
Youth unemployment in the 1980s     45
Why working-class kids got working-class jobs!     46
Developments in criminology from the 1970s     47
Feminism and the study of girls     52
Conclusion     57
Youth transitions in the age of uncertainty     59
Introduction     59
Changing patterns of school-to-work transitions     59
New times and New Labour     62
Youth inequality and transitions into adulthood     70
Conclusion     76
Youth, education and the politics of inclusion     78
Introduction     78
Education and the post-welfare society     78
New Labour and inclusive education     80
Tackling social exclusion     83
The problem of (with?) social exclusion     84
Education and the social reproduction of inequality     87
Conclusion     96
Threatening youth and risky futures      97
Introduction     97
Youth justice policy in late modernity     97
Youth policy and policing of space     100
The politics of youth crime     103
'Popular punitiveness' in youth policy     104
Youth crime and the media     105
Social science and the youth crime question     106
Conclusion     113
The marketisation and commodification of youth     115
Introduction     115
Consumption in late modernity     115
Youth, new media technology and consumption     118
Youth consumption identities     123
Conclusion     131
Youth culture and the growth of the 'risk-taking generation     133
Introduction     133
New Age travellers and eco-warriors     133
Rave culture and the arrival of ecstasy     134
The rise of clubbing     135
Fears for (of?) the 'E' generation     135
Risk-taking in late modernity     137
Youth culture and social research     141
Conclusion     149
The changing nature of youth in late modernity?     151
Introduction     151
'Political discourses' and the youth question      151
Responses to the youth question     153
Youth research and the youth question     154
The social science and policy nexus     160
The youth question and a 'new' public social science?     164
Notes     166
References     168
Index     191

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