Populational reasoning

Tait, Gordon (2012) Populational reasoning. In Lesko, Nancy & Talburt, Susan (Eds.) Keywords in Youth Studies: Tracing Affects, Movements, Knowledges. Routledge, New York & London, pp. 103-110.

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This section focuses on systems of reasoning that imagine youth as a unified whole, one that can be researched, talked about, planned for, and managed. Even research that focuses on individuals or specific contexts depends on and reproduces ideas of youth as an identifiable population. This section interrogates the rules and scaffolding of discourses that construct the social spaces in which we problematize and study youth in society.

This introduction will set the agenda by addressing four elements of this process: the first addresses the rise of some of the crucial elements of contemporary governance, the instrument and practices through which the notion of the population was able to take shape. The second examines the rise of the personage of “the child,” and how new forms of governance not only utilized this new identity for the purposes of ongoing social management, but also organized its differentiation into a growing array of new social and administrative categories. The third specifically addresses “youth,” examining its various predecessors as targets for moral concern, as well as some of the recent cultural triggers for its formation. Finally, there is an assessment of the contemporary governance of populations of youth, based as it is around its twin existence as a governmental object, a target for an almost endless array of social, educational, legal, and psychological concerns and interventions, but also as an identity, a set of practices of the self.

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ID Code: 92728
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Youth, Governance, Childhood
ISBN: 9780415874120
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 08 Feb 2016 23:00
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2016 05:08

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