Are socially excluded young people becoming an 'underclass', expecting everything but doing nothing to help themselves? Or are adults the problem - ignoring and exacerbating the real issues facing young people today?
Many young people, especially those suffering exclusion, lack status, rights and power because they fall between the two stools of protection and dependence as children and autonomy and self-determination as adults. They are also often considered by their elders to be rebellious and troublesome, and labelled with phrases such as 'underclass youth' and 'dangerous youth'.
This book critically examines these discriminatory attitudes and looks at the 'problem' of adults rather than the 'problem' of young people. Rather than focusing on the problems that young people present to others in society, this book emphasizes the problems that young people face from others.
The authors ask searching questions about society's capacity and willingness to be more socially inclusive of young people in terms of policy and practice, and explore the extent to which young people have access to status, rights and responsibilities as young adults. The book takes an holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to identifying and analyzing the factors which promote and exacerbate the social inclusion of young people, with contributors examining important themes and issues such as:
- youth transitions;
- drug use;
- teenage pregnancy; and
The book is unique in that young people have also contributed their views on the issues and on the chapters in this book. Each young contributor describes their direct experiences and draws out the strengths and weaknesses of the academic contributions, suggesting ways forward for a more inclusive society in the future.
"Youth Policy and Social Inclusion" will appeal to a wide audience, including students, practitioners, policy makers and academics in the fields of social policy, social work, sociology, youth and community work, criminology, economics, education, housing and politics.
'Monica Barry has assembled in one place an impressive array of research into young people today, and how solutions are being sought to solve their problems. She also introduces an extra ingredient to the equation - their reflections on our efforts.'
- British Journal of Social Work. Vol. 57: No.2 (January 2006).