Shaping the 'at-risk' youth : risk, governmentality and the Finn Report

Tait, Gordon (1995) Shaping the 'at-risk' youth : risk, governmentality and the Finn Report. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 16(1), pp. 123-134.

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The category of the at-risk youth' currently underpins a good deal of youth policy, and in particular, education policy. Primarily, the category is centred around a range of programmes associated with the need for state intervention, intervention which largely occursat a distance' within domains such as the school and the family. While it is argued that in some ways, the at-risk youth' simply replaces older characterisations used in the policing of the young, it will also be argued that the preventative policies associated withrisk' are constituted in terms of factors rather than individuals; that prevention is no longer primarily based upon personal expertise, but rather upon the gathering and collation of statistical knowledge which identifies risks' within given populations; and thatrisk' permits a greater number of young people to be brought into the field of regulatory strategies. Importantly, the category of the at-risk youth' underpins crucial sections of policy documents such as the Finn Report (into credentialling/ education and vocational competency). In this case, youth is deemed to beat-risk' of not making the transition to adulthood successfully. It will be argued that not only is the Finn Report significant in the administrative and cultural shaping of the category of youth', but also by employing the notion ofrisk', the Report puts in place yet another element of an effective network of governmental intelligibility covering the young. Finally, it will be argued that young women, as a specific example of a `risk' group (vis-a-vis obtaining certain types of employment), require particular forms of intervention, primarily through changing the vocational aspirations of their parents.

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ID Code: 28863
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Risk, Governance, Youth, Finn Report
DOI: 10.1080/0159630950160108
ISSN: 0159-6306
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Social Theory (160806)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1995 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an electronic version of an article published in Tait, Gordon (1995) Shaping the 'at-risk' youth : risk, governmentality and the Finn Report. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 16(1). pp. 123-134.. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education is available online at informaworldTM
Deposited On: 26 Nov 2009 23:31
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:11

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