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ERIC Number: EJ910869
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1367-6261
At Risk of What? Possibilities over Probabilities in the Study of Young Lives
Foster, Karen Rebecca; Spencer, Dale
Journal of Youth Studies, v14 n1 p125-143 Feb 2011
This paper draws on a series of 45 interviews with recipients of social assistance between the ages of 16 and 24 to offer a critical assessment of the language of "risk" and "resilience." After briefly tracing the development of this vocabulary and approach in youth research, this paper argues in line with existing critiques (Kelly 2000, te Riele 2006, France 2007) that neither risk nor resilience is an appropriate way of coming to understand young people's past, present, or future lives. Moreover, the authors argue that the language of risk and resilience commits a form of "symbolic violence" (Bourdieu 1999, Frank 2002, Zizek 2008) against young people whose lives are presumably captured and finalized by this conceptual language. Instead, the authors propose that, when dealing with young people and the future, a focus on narrative and the "desirable futures" interviewees envision for themselves is a more humane, and in many respects a more fruitful way of approaching the study of young lives. (Contains 12 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A