Over the last decade, "youth" has become increasingly central to policy, development, media and public debates and conflicts across the world – whether as an ideological symbol, social category or political actor. Set against a backdrop of contemporary political economy, Youth Rising? seeks to understand exactly how and why youth has become such a popular and productive social category and concept. The book provocatively argues that the rise and spread of global neoliberalism has not only led youth to become more politically and symbolically salient, but also to expand to encompass a growing range of ages and individuals of different class, race, ethnic, national and religious backgrounds.
Employing both theoretical and historical analysis, authors Mayssoun Sukarieh and Stuart Tannock trace the development of youth within the context of capitalism, where it has long functioned as a category for social control. The book’s chapters critically analyze the growing fears of mass youth unemployment and a "lost generation" that spread around the world in the wake of the global financial crisis. They question as well the relentless focus on youth in the reporting and discussion of recent global protests and uprisings. By helping develop a better understanding of such phenomena and critically and reflexively investigating the very category and identity of youth, Youth Rising? offers a fresh and sobering challenge to the field of youth studies and to widespread claims about the relationship between youth and social change.
"A much needed critique of neo-liberal use of "youth" to disguise class and nourish generational gaps. Dynamite in its implications." - Laura Nader, Professor of Anthropology, UC Berkeley
"Sukarieh and Tannock have written a groundbreaking book that will help to redefine the field of youth studies by providing a much-needed political-economy analysis of youth. Their analysis positions young people—indeed the current concept of youth—within the neoliberal context of social control and exploitation, thereby challenging youth researchers to re-evaluate their excessively positive representations of the youth period." - James Côté, Professor of Sociology, The University of Western Ontario
"Youth Rising? begins from the position that a critical engagement with the concept of youth is crucial in today’s political landscape… Ultimately, the fetishization of youth is rejected for the argument that social transformation cannot emerge from any single group, abstracted from the broader racialized, gendered, and classed relations of society."— Sara Carpenter, Adult Education Quarterly
List of Figures
Series Editor Preface
Chapter One: The Neoliberal Embrace of Youth
Chapter Two: Youth and Capitalism in History
Chapter Three: The Spectre of Youth Unemployment
Chapter Four: Youth as a Revolutionary Subject?
Chapter Five: Education, Protest & the Continuing Extension of Youth
Set against the massive social, cultural, and material dislocations of the new century, Critical Youth Studies interrogates the complex cultural dimensions of young people’s everyday lives today. Drawing together the work of both well known and emerging scholars, this series focuses on "youth studies" as a self-constituting, trans-disciplinary area of inquiry. Operating largely at the specific intersection of education, sociology, and media studies, Critical Youth Studies features authored and edited books, drawing on a range of methods and approaches, treating the span of issues most relevant to youth today.