Shaping the at-risk youth

Tait, Gordon (1993) Shaping the at-risk youth. In The Australian Sociological Association Conference : Social Theory in Practice , 12-15 December 1993, Macquarie University, Sydney. (Unpublished)


The category of the at-risk' youth currently underpins a good deal of youth policy. Primarily, it centres around a range of programs associated with the need for state intervention. Theat-risk' youth tenuously appears at the intersection of a variety of knowledges/problematisations, such as vocational guidance, youth welfare, family management, and so on. Whilst 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' legitimates unlimited governmental intervention. 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 an 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.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

175 since deposited on 26 Nov 2009
6 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 28935
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Youth, Risk, Education, Governance
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology of Education (160809)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1993 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 26 Nov 2009 21:55
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:12

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page