• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Young people grow up in varied circumstances with different priorities and perspectives. While youth does not exist as a single group we need to understand what is happening in young people's lives. Rethinking Youth challenges the conventional wisdoms surrounding the position and opportunities of young people today and provides a systematic overview of the major perspectives in youth studies.

Youth Development
Youth development

This chapter focuses on youth development, a framework for conceptualising youth which is embedded in social psychological theories of human development. The study of youth has inherited a powerful legacy from this approach which is written into many assumptions about young people and about what it means to ‘grow up’. Most importantly, the notion of ‘youth development’ permeates and informs many practices in schools and in other institutions which concern themselves with young people, such as correctional institutions and welfare agencies. ‘Youth development’ is the conceptual edifice on which the practices which marginalise some young people are based. Without the highly individualised notion of ‘youth development’ there would be no legitimation for the institutionalisation of discrimination through the mainstream curriculum, and the ...

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