Working with Young People is designed to help you develop the knowledge and skills you need for supporting young people as they learn about themselves, others and society and prepare for the transition to adulthood. It introduces the fundamental concepts and issues that lie at the heart of contemporary work with young people and challenges you to think deeply about: - the social context of young people - values and principles that underpin practice - the variety of settings in which practice takes place, and - the importance of informal learning in the lives of young people. Whether you are a new student or returning to study, Working with Young Poeple provides a stimulating introduction and a foundation for further study. Sheila Curran is Senior Lecturer at The Open University. Roger Harrison is Senior Lecturer at The Open University. Donald Mackinnon is Lecturer at The Open University.

Youth as a Social Construction

Youth as a social construction
Mary Jane Kehily

The idea that youth is a social construction – that it is made and shaped by the society we live in and will therefore change time and place – can have a powerful influence on how we look at young people and interpret their behaviour. This chapter explains what is meant by social construction and explores some of the processes through which our understandings of young people are being shaped.

This chapter will introduce you to the concept of youth. Generally referring to an age-bound stage in the life course, the term has particular associations and meanings in Western societies. This chapter will demonstrate how the idea of youth can be understood as a ...

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