What is youth? How do we understand youth in its social and cultural context?In this timely and sought-after title, Cieslik and Simpson provide a concise and readily accessible introduction to the interdisciplinary field of youth studies. Drawing upon the latest research and developments in the field, as well as discussing the fundamental ideas underlying the disciplines as a whole, it offers a comprehensive yet unpacked understanding of youth as a social phenomenon. Illuminating the many abstract and contested concepts within youth studies, this book offers explanations to questions such as: • How might we define youth? • How can we understand young people in relation to their social identities and practices? • What is the relationship between youth and social class? • How do youth cultures develop? • How can we understand youth in a globalized perspective? Key Concepts in Youth Studies stands out as a natural companion for students on youth studies, sociology, criminology and social science programmes. It will also be useful for youth practitioners such as social workers and teachers. Key Concepts in Youth Studies stands out as a natural companion for students on youth studies, sociology, criminology and social science programmes. It will also be useful for practitioners in area of social work and youth and community development.
We need a definition of young people so that we know exactly whom it is that we are researching, working with or developing policy for. Just as we note elsewhere in this book (see theorising youth) definitions of youth will reflect the biases of those doing the defining. Sociologists, youth workers and policy-makers will all have their own different notions of what constitutes young people and many of these understandings will be at variance with the ways that young people see themselves (Mannheim, 1952). Similarly writers document how conceptions of the youth phase are historically and culturally specific. In Western societies historical studies show that the category of youth as we understand it today is a relatively recent phenomenon dating ...