First published in 1997, this volume is concerned primarily, though not exclusively, with one particular vulnerable group: unqualified young men on the margins. These young men, whose cultures of machismo, manualism and anti-mentalism previously served to prepare them for the manual labour market, are increasingly the careerless, the jobless and the folk-devils of the modern, post-industrial society. In research, they have received considerable attention, though more for their capacity to be spectacular, deviant and bizarre than through the deep anxieties and despondency about the future experienced by many. Howard Williamson contends that the development of effective youth policy depends essentially upon a synthesis of political priorities, professional agendas and young people’s perspectives and responses. While not quite an ‘underclass’, many suffer from a ‘tangle of pathologies’ which obstructs the possibility of them finding a way back into mainstream economic, housing and relationship transitions.
Table of Contents
1. Making Sense … a Failure to Understand and a Duty to Explain: Youth, Youth Policy and Youth Research 1975-1995. Part 1. Just Wicked: Rational Delinquents. 2. Golden Years. 3. Choosing to be a Delinquent. 4. Why Kids Plead Guilty. 5. Trapped as Teenagers. Part 2. Exploitation or Opportunity? Youth Training Programmes. 6. Chance Would be a Fine Thing. 7. Client Responses to the Youth Opportunities Programme. 8. Status Zer0 Youth: Politics, Predicaments and Policies. 9. Policy Responses to Youth Unemployment: Cultures, Careers and Consequences. Part 3. Person-Centred or Politically-Determined: the Youth Service. 10. The Changing Context of Youth Work in the 1990s. 11. At the Crossroads: Youth Work in Wales. 12. The Needs of Young People Aged 15-19 and the Youth Service Response. Part 4. On the Edge: Diminished Prospects and Growing Marginalisation. 13. Struggling Beyond Youth. 14. Youth Policy in the United Kingdom and the Marginalisation of Young People. 15. Culture, Politics and Social Exclusion: a Comparison of ‘Status Zer0’ Young People in Two Localities. Part 5. Reflections from the Field. 16. Some Lessons from Over a Decade of Contract Research.