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Governmentality of youth: beyond cultural studies.

I don't feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning. If you knew when you began a book what you would say at the end, do you think that you would have the courage to write it? What is true for writing and for a love relationship is true also for life. The game is worthwhile insofar as we don't know what will be the end. My field is the history of thought. Man is a thinking being.

Michel Foucault (1982) Truth, Power, Self: An Interview with Michel Foucault


When I talk with students, teachers, counselors about young people, most people seem to have something to say and I hear multiple descriptions, clich6s, truisms and so forth. So I begin by pondering how discourses position youth in the 21st century. A genealogy of discourses of youth reveals shifts over time in how they are viewed and positioned. In writing this paper, I pose the question: How do understandings of governmentality play out in discourses of youth?

The first section of the paper briefly discusses the emergence of Foucault's notion of governmentality which links two sets of ideas: government and self-government; and neoliberalism and the entrepreneurial self. Governmentality acts as a bridge between Foucault's early work on the self and disciplinary societies and his later work on economic liberalism. As a naturalised Kantian, Foucault wants to understand the self as a cultural and historical construction created or fabricated, in part, through the disciplines that take as central the freedom of the subject and his or her autonomy. Autonomy in this context, as Foucault reminds us, is a byword for self-regulation (where auto = self, nomos = law). The notion of self-regulation and autonomy can be explored in a collective sense and I use the term as a means of exploring the genealogy of discourses of adolescence/ youth. This fulfils Foucault's double-sensed notion of a 'discipline', the first based in sociologically oriented criteria for the development of a discipline, usually known as some variation of 'youth studies' and the second in terms of notions of subjectivity of the self that encourages and is itself predicated upon the subject's freedom.

The second section examines the formation of discourses on youth and their discursive processes in two dominant paradigms. It begins with a subsection on what I call 'psychologizing adolescence' at the start of the 20th century, moving to another subsection, 'sociologizing youth'--a set of contemporary discourses that initially developed around the concept of 'sub-culture' established by Dick Hebdidge and others in the 1970s and which I explore in more detail in my book, Counseling Youth: Foucault, Power and the Ethics of Subjectivity (Besley, 2002). The paper also makes some brief observations on the disciplinary formation of 'youth studies' (see Besley, 2002).

In the third section, 'Managing 'Risky' Youth Subjects' I examine one of the dominant discourses of youth, that of youth 'at risk'. I start with definitions of this, a range of socio-psy programs and interventions which are voluntary and community based. One aspect of governmentality concerns social security, risk assessment, risk management and insurance, thus involving the not only economic aspects but also therapeutic discourses of ways of managing risk, of using technologies of the self that include interventions of the psy sciences, to promote or enhance personal health and well-being and self-realization (O'Malley, 1996). Such a view will encompass understanding of the lifestyle choices as self-regulation and agency that young people make as they fashion their ever-changing identities, as they develop their sense of self amid conflicting and opposing societal forces that tend to emphasize notions of youth at risk rather than more positive, hopeful discourses that affect the majority of youth. This forms the first part of my argument that I argue that in the 21st century neoliberal context of consumer capitalist societies, discourses of youth need now to move beyond the valuable earlier understandings based on psychological and cultural/ subcultural studies to harness Foucault's notion of governmentality. In terms of governmentality, if youth cannot or will not control their conduct, they cease to be 'docile bodies' and 'useful' to the state (see Foucault, 1976). If their behavior becomes unacceptable and criminal, the state will step in and attempt to control their conduct (at least for a while), administering its biopower in the form of the youth justice system--governmentality in action which is probably the biggest risk of all for youth, especially in the disciplinary, punitive way it is formulated in much of the USA, where it totally ignores the theoretical findings of youth development that have been established in psychological discourses.

Beyond cultural studies--the fourth section--brings the two earlier sections of the paper together by analyzing the importance of changing economic conceptions of the self which demand something more than perspectives garnered solely from cultural studies alone. In particular I will argue that cultural studies needs a Foucauldian history of homo economicus that Foucault gives in the last four lectures of The Birth of Bio-politics (2008) and a critical engagement with the economics of the self where the dominance of pure rationality models have given way to a consideration of a range of psychological attributes that influence our economic decisionmaking.

I address the contemporary significance of governmentality under neoliberalism, which currently operates in most advanced capitalist nations, providing the context within which youth now exist in the 21st century. This condition is markedly different from the welfare state and has seen the expansion of deregulated markets, vastly increased consumer cultures at the same time as the influence of state has changed, in some aspects decreasing, but in others extending its gaze, surveillance, power and control. Quite how things will proceed following the global financial crisis of 2008-09, which has seen governments finally acknowledging the folly of financial deregulation which is hurting most capitalist economies in the world, is yet to be played out. Most governments are now acting pragmatically, reluctantly ditching some of their neoliberal ideologies and acting in direct contrast by using bail-out taxpayer funds to shore up banks, car companies (GM & Chrysler in USA), enormous transnational insurance companies like AIG and financial institutions and in the process often buying a stake in these institutions. Plans to regulate are to follow, so maybe the 21st century will become 'postneoliberal.'

The emergence of governmentality: linking government and self-government. Neoliberalism and the entrepreneurial self

Foucault examines government as both a practice and a problematic that first emerges in the 16th century, as a general problem dispersed across quite different areas of life, coining the term 'governmentality' as a neologism for government rationality, one that links both 'govern' and 'mentality'. Mitchell Dean discusses these divisions of 'govern' and 'mentality', or mentalities of governing--mentality being a mental disposition or outlook, a view taken by Jaques Donzelot and Colin Gordon (2009). The French word mentalitie has a similar meaning in English referring to one's mental attitude, mindset, outlook, beliefs, rationality, way of thinking, one's interiority which sets out how individuals interpret and respond to situations. One's mentality may be unwittingly constructed and/or intentionally created.

Today the term 'government' holds primarily a political meaning, but Foucault showed that up until later in the 18th century it had much wider connotations being discussed 'not only in political tracts, but also in philosophical, religious, medical and pedagogic texts.'

Jacques Donzelot (2009, p. 3) states that governmentality is:
   a concept invented to denote the 'conduct of conducts'
   of men and women, working through their autonomy
   rather than through coercion even of a subtle kind. Out
   of this concept and the extended analysis of political
   economy which provides the material for its elaboration,
   Foucault never produced a published work.

Colin Gordon (2009, p. 5) adds:
   The intellectual path that led Foucault from the analysis
   of disciplines to that of governmentality is perfectly
   consistent, just as the theme of governmentality connects
   consistently in turn with his later themes of care of the
   self and truth-telling.

In Foucault's view, governmentality means the complex of calculations, programmes, policies, strategies, reflections, and tactics that shape the conduct of individuals, 'the conduct of conduct' for acting upon the actions of others in order to achieve certain ends (Foucault, 1991). Governmentality is not simply about control in its negative sense (such as controlling, subduing, disciplining, normalizing, or reforming people) but also in its positive, constitutive sense, in its contribution to the security, health, wealth, and well-being of society (Foucault, 1979; 1991). Governmentality involves "'governing the self and "governing others"' (Lemke, 2002, p. 49).

Rather than the old style binary oppositions, governmentality replaces the 'or' with 'and' creating twin or linked notions such as autonomy and responsibility, trust and consent and respect (see Donzelot and Gordon, 2009). It involves the 'how' of governing the state, and how an individual governs their own mentality or interiority in this process--linking technologies of power or domination with technologies of the self (Foucault, 1988). The state governs its subjects and in turn produces or constructs the citizens it requires or desires through a wide range of political technologies and government supported practices and institutions (e.g. laws, policies, interventions, initiatives, statistics and techniques)--that is its 'biopower' and 'biopolitics' (1,2) and associated discourses (Foucault, 1981). The individual governs him or herself by their subjectivity and mentality.

From Dean, we can understand that governmentality is not just a tool for thinking about government and governing but also incorporates how and what people who are governed think about the way they are governed. Such thinking holds a collective component, that is, the sum of the knowledge, beliefs and opinions held by those who are governed, but this mentality is not usually "examined by those who inhabit it" (p. 16). This raises the interesting point that those who are governed may not understand the unnaturalness of both the way they live and the fact that they take this way of life for granted--that the same activity in which they engage in "can be regarded as a different form of practice depending on the mentalities that invest it" (Dean, 1999, p. 17). He explains:

On the one hand, we govern others and ourselves according to what we take to be true about who we are, what aspects of our existence should be worked upon, how, with what means, and to what ends. On the other hand, the ways in which we govern and conduct ourselves give rise to different ways of producing truth (Dean, 1999, p. 18).

According to Dean any definition of governmentality should incorporate all of Foucault's intended ideas--not only government in terms of the state, but government in terms of any "conduct of conduct" (Dean, 1999, p. 10). It must incorporate the idea of mentalities and the associations that go with that concept: that it is an attitude towards something, and that it is not usually understood "from within its own perspective" and that these mentalities are collective and part of a society's culture. It must also include an understanding of the ways in which conduct is governed, not just by governments, but also by ourselves and others (Dean, 1999, p.16). The semantic linking of governing and mentalities in governmentality indicates that it is not possible to study technologies of power without an analysis of the mentality of rule underpinning them.

Foucault considered that an explosion of interest in the 'art of government' in the 16th century was motivated by four diverse questions: the government of oneself or one's personal conduct; the government of souls and lives or pastoral conduct; the government of children, which subsequently involved pedagogy and their education; and the government of the state by its prince or ruler (Foucault, 1991). Self-government is connected with morality; governing the family is related to economy and ruling the state to politics. Foucault discusses the Stoic revival focusing on the government of oneself; the government of souls elaborated in Catholic and Protestant pastoral doctrine; the government of children and the problematic of pedagogy; and, last but not least, the government of the State by the prince. Foucault believed that in the mid-18th century the family became 'the privileged instrument for the government of the population and not the chimerical model of good government' (Foucault, 1991, p. 100) thus enabling population to become the ultimate end of government. This put government in a position to concentrate on the welfare of its population, to embark on large-scale campaigns such as vaccinations, marriage, employment, improving its health, wealth, mortality. In turn this made it possible for technologies of the self such as the psy sciences and counseling to emerge. It also enabled the study of youth to emerge, arguably beginning with G. Stanley Hall's classic work, Adolescence: Its Relations to physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion and Education in 1905, foregrounding the emergence of the discipline of youth studies.

Foucault (1982) commented on the 'disciplining' of European society since the 18th century by playing on the double meaning of 'discipline'. He referred to "blocks" of "disciplines" in which "the adjustment of abilities, the resources of communication, and power relations constitute regulated and concerted systems," citing the example of an educational institution (Foucault, 1982, p. 218).

Foucault argued that it was not that society had become increasingly obedient, nor that society had set up disciplinary institutions such as barracks, schools or prisons, but rather that an increasingly invigilated process of adjustment had been developed: "More and more, rational and economic relations have been set up between productive activities, resources of communication, and the play of power relations" (Foucault, 1982, p. 219). Foucault (1977) suggested that the operation of institutions such as prisons, factories, and schools can be understood in terms of techniques of power that are a form of 'power/knowledge' that observes, monitors, shapes, and controls the behavior of people within these institutions.

Disciplinary mechanisms, such as "hierarchical observation, normalizing judgement and the examination," develop within disciplinary institutions and enable disciplinary power to be achieved by both training and coercing individual and collective bodies (Smart 1985, p. 85). The examination observed individuals and, in turn, produced a compilation of written reports, files, and registers that enabled populations to be documented, described, analysed and classified. Through it, each individual and ordinary people became a "case", a change from "regimes of sovereign power in which only the celebrated and noble were 'individualized' in chronicles and fable ... a lowering of the threshold of description and the construction of a new modality of power" (Smart, 1985, p. 87). Foucault's notion of governmentality, its link with the sociohistorical context and with one instrument of the disciplinary technology of power--the 'examination'--enabled the 'psy' sciences (e.g. psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy, counselling etc.) to emerge in the late 19th and subsequently to expand in the 20th century (Foucault, 1979, 1989c; Rose, 1989, 1998). On top of his earlier formulation, Foucault's later analysis of power as a form of ethical selfconstitution and governmentality allows us to understand youth in the 21st century in ways that differ from earlier theorizing, in particular the forms of sub-cultural analyses that emerged from the 1960s onwards. The notion of governmentality serves to analyse and understand how discourses of youth involve a form of disciplinary power with its own form of power/knowledge.

Foucault's notion of governmentality concentrates on understanding the pluralised forms of government, its complexity, and its techniques in the question of how power is exercised whereby the rationality of government involves both permitting and requiring the freedom of its subjects. "I believe that the concept of governmentality makes it possible to bring out the freedom of the subject and its relationship with others which constitutes the very stuff [matiere] of ethics" (Foucault, 1991, p. 102). Foucault analyzes ethics in terms of the free relationship to the self [rapport a soi], emphasizing the historical and conceptual relations between truth, freedom, and subjectivity. Yet, in terms of freedom, the political philosophy of neoliberalism involves a competitive, possessive form of individualism that is often construed in terms of 'consumer sovereignty' and emphasizes freedom over equality and individual freedoms over community freedoms (Peters & Marshall, 1996). The notion of freedom is often individualistic, with negative implications in terms of 'freedom from' rather than 'freedom to'--especially freedom from state interference (Besley, 2002). The power relations between government and self-government, public and private domains coincide and coalesce at the point where 'policing' and 'administration' stops and where the freedom of the subject becomes a resource for, rather than a hindrance to, government. In liberal democracies, governing others has always been linked to subjects who are constituted as being 'free' to simultaneously practice liberty and take responsibility for governing the self (Rose, 1998).

Foucault's governmentality goes beyond fixed distinctions of the state and civil society, of power and subjectivity (Dean, 1996; Rose, 1996; Gordon, 1996). Gordon (2009) points out that 'trust and consent ... are in some sense the equivalents for citizenship of what autonomy and responsibility represent in the context of governmentality.' With the addition of respect, trust and consent are what

... every government today desires to produce and to enjoy--respect being incidentally the item which others most like to deny government, at least in Britain. The production of respect demands, in turn, persuasion and pedagogy. Persuasion for the social classes which are resistant to change because they feel insecure, and pedagogy for the minorities who may be inclined to disorder or revolt. (Gordon, 2009, p. 13)

Analyses in terms of governmentality then involve problematisation, critique, and contestability about these practices of governance of the self and of others. The Foucauldian notion of power, as formulated in his later work, is not a simply repressive one, as power is usually conceptualised in traditional liberal sociology and Marxist political thought. While the 'juridico-discursive' conception of power is repressive, for Foucault power is not only repressive or negative, but also 'positive', not in the sense of being good or benign or something to aspire to, but in the sense of being constitutive in the shaping of peoples' lives and ideas (Foucault, 1980). Foucault is less concerned with a theory of power than with "an 'analytics' of power: that is, toward a definition of the specific domain formed by relations of power, and toward a determination of the instruments that will make possible this analysis" (Foucault, 1980, p. 82). Foucault is primarily interested in how power is exercised, in "actions upon actions" which constitute power relations (Foucault, 1982, p. 220) and how it involves creative aspects in relationships, discourses and consciousness. Foucault's later analysis of power shifted to understanding power as a form of ethical self-constitution and governmentality which sheds some light on understanding the shift in discourses of youth. Governmentality both individualizes and also later totalizes people. For example students are individualized when they expose their personal experiences in classroom exercises or therapeutic situations and later, if this work is part of psychological intervention or for grading purposes, they are totalized when their experiences are compared to others, with norms.

Foucault's work on governmentality in The Birth of BioPolitics--Lectures at the College de France 1978- 79 addresses neoliberal governmentality in the very early days of its emergence, before it was adopted by so many advanced capitalist societies following from Thatcher and Reagan in the 1980s (Foucault, 2008; Lemke, 2001, 2002). Under neoliberalism which has the avowed aim of 'rolling back the state' especially the public sector (Kelsey, 1993), creating the minimal state or instituting small government, the state has in fact extended its role. Instead of governing directly, neoliberal states now govern at a distance through forms of indirect government through 'an agenda that is characterized by competition, privatization, and the reform of public institutions using managerialist ideologies that emphasize the four "D's--decentralization, devolution, deregulation, and delegation--and codifying policy and accountability which enable government at a distance under the guise of local autonomy" (Besley, 2002, p. 177). Moreover, the population is subject to indirect government through multiple private, corporate or quasi-public practices, through "social technologies which delegate responsibility for individuals to other autonomous entities: enterprises, communities, professional organizations, individuals themselves." (Gordon, 2009). In neoliberal regimes individuals become "experts of themselves", adopting "an educated and knowledgeable relation of self-care in respect of their bodies, their minds, their forms of conduct and that of the members of their own families" (Rose, 1996, p. 59). Paper 8 of our book Subjectivity and Truth: Foucault, Education and the Culture of Self, focuses upon a 'new prudentialism', 'on an entrepreneurial self that 'responsibilizes' the self to make welfare choices based on an actuarial rationality (Besley & Peters, 2007). It is a form that seeks to 'insure' the individual against risk, since in this instance the State has transferred this risk to the individual. Such moves constitute new types of subjectivity--nothing less than what/how we become as human beings' (Besley & Peters, 2007, pp. 155- 6). Such new entrepreneurial self became vitally important once the state's self-limited role decreased its power to mediate in the market to achieve the traditional welfare goal of full employment or of equality of opportunity in education. At the same time that neoliberals were attempting conceptually to remoralize the link between welfare and employment and to 'responsibilize' individuals for investing in their own education, neoliberal governments began to dismantle arrangements for state arbitration in the labor market, substituting individualized employment contracts, and exposing workers to the vagaries of the market--i.e. to more risk.

There has been a proliferation of risk management strategies and education especially regarding security at all levels--national, personal and institutional--since 9/11. The notion of the 'risk society' first described by Ulrich Beck (1992) focused on environmental, health and personal risk and was extended to include security by Anthony Giddens (1990, 1991). Yet notions of 'at risk youth' and 'nation at risk' predate Beck's and Giddens' uses of the term. The USA Nation at Risk: Imperative for Educational Reform Report, 1981 posed concerns about the place of education in maintaining America's pre-eminence as a world leader both economically and technologically (see: html). Fifteen years later in 1998 the same rhetoric was revived in A Nation Still at Risk: An Education Manifesto ( pubs/manifest.htm). The risks posed to 'tomorrow's well-being' by 'educational mediocrity' is now defined as 'economic decline' and 'technological inferiority'. The Report reads: 'Large numbers of students remain at risk. Intellectually and morally, America's educational system is failing too many people'. The main renewal strategies mentioned are: ' standards, assessments and accountability' on the one hand, and ' pluralism, competition and choice', on the other (italics in original).

Neoliberalism, considered as a risk management regime, involves the distrust of expert knowledges, especially those traditionally involved with the welfare state such as social workers and teachers. Under neoliberalism there is a shift to the creation of a uniform structure of expert knowledges based on the calculating science of actuarialism and accountancy ('the audit society'). 'The social' is promoted as that which is capable of being governed--traditionally, the regulation of 'the poor' and 'pauperisation'. 'Work' and 'unemployment' have become fundamental modern categories of social regulation (Besley & Peters, 2007, p. 159).

The regulation of risk takes place through insurance and the responsibilization of the individual consumer who increasingly is forced to become responsible for his/her own safety, health, employment and education. We might called this a prudentialization of social regulation - we are made to be prudent (as part of a wider moral discourse) and risk management of the social hazards facing us in modernity is based on the self-constituting prudential citizen under economic and contractual conditions (Besley & Peters, 2007, p. 160).

A genealogy of the entrepreneurial self reveals that it is the relationship, promoted by neoliberalism, that one establishes to oneself through forms of personal investment (for example, user charges, student loans) and insurance that becomes the central ethical component of a new individualized and privatized consumer welfare economy. In this novel form of governance, responsibilized individuals are called upon to apply certain management, economic, and actuarial techniques to themselves as subjects of a newly privatized welfare regime. At one and the same time enterprise culture provides the means for analysis and the prescription for change: education and training are key sectors in promoting national economic competitive advantage and future national prosperity. They are seen increasingly as the passport for welfare recipients to make the transition from dependent, passive welfare consumer to an entrepreneurial self. In the past, so the neoliberal argument goes, too much emphasis has been placed on social and cultural objectives and insufficient emphasis has been placed on economic goals in education systems. Henceforth, the prescription is for greater investment in education and training as a basis for future economic growth. Such investment in human skills is underwritten by theories of human capital development and human resources management. The major difference from previous welfare state regimes is that education, increasingly at all levels but more so at the level of tertiary education, is no longer driven by public investment but, rather, by private investment decisions. The uptake of education and training grants by able-bodied welfare recipients, especially women who are single parents, now becomes mandatory after a given period within countries where neoliberal policies have been adopted, in what some see as a shift from a welfare state to a Schumpetarian workfare state (Besley & Peters, 2007, p. 164).

Above all, the theme of 'responsibilizing the self,' a process at once economic and moral, is concomitant with a new tendency to 'invest' in the self at crucial points in the life cycle and symbolizes the shift in the regime and governance of education and welfare under neoliberalism. Risk and responsibility have been thematized in new ways. There has been a shift from a disciplinary technology of power, first, to welfarism--to programs of social security as governmentalized risk management and to new forms of actuarial or insurance-based rationalities--and, second, to new forms of prudentialism (a privatized actuarialism) where risk management is forced back onto individuals and satisfied through the market. O'Malley comments 'Within such prudential strategies, then calculative self-interest is articulated with actuarialism to generate risk management as an everyday practice of the self' (O'Malley, 1996, p. 200). The duty to the self--its simultaneous responsibilization as a moral agent and its construction as a calculative rational choice actor--becomes the basis for a series of investment decisions concerning one's health, education, security, employability, and retirement. The responsibilization of the self and its associated new prudential strategies go hand in hand with two related developments: a substitution of 'community' for 'society' and the invention of new strategies for government through information (Besley & Peters, 2007, pp. 165-6).

Discourses of youth: 'psychologizing adolescence' and 'sociolizing youth'

Psychologizing adolescence

Western societies historically have used adult values and understandings of the world, rather than any code formulated by youth themselves to construct meanings of 'adolescence' or 'youth'. Young people have been defined against traditional humanist philosophical notions of the 'normal' adult self which views the subject or agent as a stable, fixed, rational, autonomous being who is independent, fully transparent to itself and responsible for his/her actions and exercising conscious 'choices'. This Enlightenment view derives from Cartesian-Kantian philosophy is a highly value-laden, and thus contestable view of what adults, are or should be and what adolescents or youth should become. Contrary to popular belief, this view is not a universal 'truth', but an ideal that originated in Classical Greek society with the institutionalization of philosophy. More recently different versions--the Kantian ethical subject and homo economicus of liberal political economy--have been re-emphasized by Western capitalist democracies. These views of the adult citizen, a product of a particular culture, have become the standard against which serve as ideals for maturing young people in politics and education.

Strong criticisms of the Enlightenment self have been mounted against its individualism, the mind/body dualism which privileges the mind or intellect, especially in education; and the rationality and autonomy that is particularly challenged by various forms of social theory including critical theory, poststructuralism and feminism (see, for example, Foucault, 1980, 1985; Meyers, 2000). In contrast to the Enlightenment self, twentieth century philosophy and social theory, especially since WW II, has provided an understanding of the self more in terms of its temporality and finitude; its corporeality (embodiedness); its spatial and cultural location (situatedness); its intersubjectivity, otherness or relatedness; its gendered subjectivity and sexuality; its libidinal forces and emotionality; new forms of cultural and ethical self-constitution; emerging patterns of global production and consumption; and the constitution and positioning of identity in discourse.

Chronological definitions of youth are commonplace as are biological ones but both are limiting since the former tends to reflect status and arbitrary bureaucratic conventions while biological ones generally equate the start of adolescence with attaining sexual maturity. In order to understand the construction of discourses of adolescence and youth in the early twenty-first century in Western and industrialized societies, I argue it is necessary to understand the specific historic-cultural conditions of consumer-oriented societies where the combinations of markets and new information and communications technologies strongly shape the identities of youth people.

Both the psychological and sociological paradigms continue in uneasy tandem with psychological discourses tending to use the term 'adolescence' while sociological discourses differentiate themselves by tending to use the term 'youth'. The critique of accepted 'truths' of these dominant discourses and the taken-for-granted assumptions about the categories of 'adolescence' and 'youth' begins by considering how such categories are constructed and how young people are generally positioned in social science discourses. This approach, then, opens up new ways of rethinking the constitution of youth with some theorists arguing that in the postmodern world 'hybridised' youth--combining elements of local culture and globalized consumer world culture centered around the concept of 'style'--are emerging (Giroux, 1996; Best & Kellner, 1998; Besley, 2003).

The rapid industrialization and urbanization of the USA and the developed world beginning in the late 19th century heralded the emergence of 'adolescence' as an object of 'scientific' study alongside the establishment of psychological discourses. In studying and observing young people, the discursive construction of an agerelated group tended to focus on the abnormal, the deviant, the clinical and the pathological. It was a problem saturated approach with 'juvenile delinquency' specified as a distinctively modern problem. G. Stanley Hall's (1905) classic work entitled simply Adolescence carried the subtitle 'Its relations to physiology, anthropology, sociology, sex, crime, religion and education', clearly demonstrating how in discourse categories are formulated and devised that are often based on values and norms which have the power to specify, position and define people in various ways. These 'new' definitions became the basis for policies and laws that regulate and control the behavior of young people.

The challenge to official and accepted discourses about the nature of adolescence and youth often entail assumptions that tend to naturalize these categories as 'given' and unalterable. For instance, Lesko (1996) talks of 'denaturalizing adolescence' as a process of exposing the politics of contemporary representations of adolescence around three dominant forms: 'coming of age', being 'hormonally driven', and peer orientation. Lesko deconstructs the predominant recurring notion of adolescence as a 'natural', universal and ahistorical stage with immutable characteristics, arguing that the prevailing discourse ignores the social processes and constructs that created the notion of adolescence and which can and do change over time.

The categories 'adolescence' and 'youth' have been constructed from a combination of different theoretical discourses philosophical, psychological, biological, sociological, anthropological, and criminological. Theories of adolescence, for instance, can be considered as the discursive effects of certain sets of social practices, of power/knowledge that occur across numerous contemporary social domains--the family, school, law, medicine. These categories also are open to change and redefinition as, for example, the World Health Organization reflecting the prolongation of adolescent dependency in the developed world has extended 'youth' to include young adults up to 24 years.

Traditional approaches to understanding adolescence have been based on both developmental and humanist-existentialist psychological discourses. Schools have readily adopted these definitions even although they have serious limitations. Universalizing stage theories of child and adolescent development, such as those of Jean Piaget, have been probably the most influential in how the adolescent was theorized in individual, positivist, naturalist and functionalist terms. Developmental psychology has established takenfor-granted truths about how I conceptualize youth and in turn, education. The adolescent was seen as an individual trying on personae to find an identity or true self that becomes established for life. However, the effect has been to label, diagnose, categorize, calculate, normalize, judge, totals and even pathologise young people as, for example, attention deficit disordered, maladjusted, dyslexic, conduct disordered, oppositional-defiant, emotionally handicapped, severely emotionally disturbed, learning disabled etc. Yet linear sets of stages of development towards becoming a fully autonomous, independent individual do not fit women's experiences of growing up, and do not deal with ethnicity nor power relations. Since the late 1970s a contextualized approach based on the work of Jerome Bruner, Lev Vygotsky and Urie Bronfenbrenner has been favored in developmental discourse. The social emphasis has major implications for how adolescents are understood as social beings that operate both individually and in groups, interdependent with others and how education has a place to play in their development. But the social context is still seen as adaptive and so still appeals either implicitly or explicitly to functionalist biology.

Despite a considerable body of critique, developmental notions re-surfaced in the 1990s, providing the concepts, institutions and practices (e.g. standardized testing and targeting regimes) that are designed to provide resources and programs for selected youth. Yet these inadvertently marginalize some young people through such current labels as 'mainstream', 'gifted and talented' and 'at risk' youth. These deny the effects of power relations in terms of ethnicity, class or gender on the outcomes of schooling--outcomes that are not simply dependent on various individual capacities such as intelligence, ability, appearance, attitude, motivation, self-esteem and so on. Schools as sites where young people not so much mature but where they negotiate class, gender, ethnicity and other relationships, need to become aware the practices they adopt that are derived from the hidden unquestioned assumptions of development theories.

One frequently hears of medico-psychological diagnoses and labels in schools where students are also commonly described by their academic performance, their socio-economic background, classroom dynamics, and sub-cultural or peer groupings. It has been only recently, especially through the work of Michel Foucault and other poststructuralist theorists writing on feminism, social constructionist psychology and narrative therapy that these 'truths' have been strongly contested. Nikolas Rose's work on the genealogy of the 'psy' sciences (e.g. psychology, psychoanalysis, clinical psychology, social work, psychotherapy, counseling) has revealed the problematic nature of much of this discourse and its labeling of young people. Yet many people involved in the psy sciences still consider adolescence to be a stage when cognitive and emotional development takes place amid emotional storm and stress. As a result the focus continues to be on an individual adolescent's problems and on those who do not reach expected norms, leading to the dominance of remedial/adjustment ways for dealing with adolescents in psychological practice and in schools. But these inadvertently blame the victim instead of suggesting how society should adjust to better accommodate the adolescent. Rose's arguments show how psychological discourses not only became key ways of understanding the self, childhood and adolescence, but also how, in the process, the soul (subject/self) of the young citizen has become the object of government--the government of the self and the government of the state (Rose 1989; 1998).

Sociologizing Youth

Sociological notions of youth differ from most psychological approaches that, except for recent social, discursive and constructionist psychological approaches, mostly focus on the individual. In sociological and postmodern literature youth is conceptualized as relational, as 'social processes whereby age is socially constructed, institutionalized and controlled in historically and culturally specific ways.' (Wyn & White, 1997, p. 11) However, youth is still often idealized and institutionalized as a deficit state of 'becoming' that exists and has meaning in relation to the adult it will 'arrive' to be. Structures play a role in the governance of society in general and in particular for youth, but the impact of agency, the capacity for acting intentionally in our modern world need to be acknowledged so the politico-socio-economic contexts in which youth exist need to be understood. While the physical and psychological changes that occur in youth are important, the way these are constructed by society and in turn negotiated by individuals is equally important.

In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s 'youth', motivated by an ethic of rebellion ('cool') against the uniformity of adult society, by protest against the Vietnam war, and by the development of youth markets for music, clothing and youth style, experimented with new values and 'life-styles' (e.g., the commune, hippies, 'free love' in multiple and same-sex relationships), turning to forms of behavior often misunderstood by adults and the authorities. Such developments were described in terms such as the 'generation gap' and theorised as 'moral panics' based on perceptions of an increase in juvenile delinquency and moral decline. Youth were often described as 'alienated', 'non-committed', 'undisciplined', 'pleasure-seeking' and unwilling to engage in the work ethic characteristic of white Anglo-American Protestantism.

Stanley Cohen's (1980) work uncovered the role of the media in formulating both 'moral panics' and 'folk devils' in confronting societal fears of the threat of the Other and pointing out how tabloid sensationalism can demonize youth. The way the news pays attention to negative behavior, violence and deviance of youth in sensational terms of strange happenings, bizarre behavior, scandals and exceptional crimes reinforces existing perceptions and prejudices and a resultant adult public outcry often ensues as youth become positioned as 'at risk' or as problems. The media is not neutral, nor innocent. It provides information, and possibly vicarious pleasure, but also displays society's moral expectations of right and wrong and the bounds of acceptability, in turn defining and shaping society and social problems. Often moral crusaders use the media to get their concerns and messages across and to gain public support. Whilst the media may well express moral indignation and outrage it is not above exaggerating sensational events in order to increase its ratings. Consequently, youth culture is to a large extent, morally constituted by the media.

Until the emergence of postmodern theorists in the late 1980s and 1990s, from the 1970s, youth studies had been dominated by the paradigm established by cultural/subcultural studies of youth from the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS). The CCCS studies utilized ethnographic methods and Marxist analysis to describe and analyze the contours of youth culture and subcultures in the post-war period--a time when youth came to be seen as a social problem that reflected considerable social change in lifestyle and values. Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson (1976), Paul Willis (1981) and Dick Hebdige (1979) used Gramsci's concept of hegemony to interpret a series cultural styles of youth in post World War II Britain as spectacular symbols of resistance that were symptomatic of widespread but largely submerged dissent.

Subcultural studies focused on the interplay of ideology, socio-economic status adult middle-class culture through style as discourse. They examined how adolescents develop meaningful identity through developing their own subcultures in response to marginalization, incompleteness, race, class and meaninglessness in the roles that adult society grants them. The more that mainstream adult culture ignores youth subcultures, the more these will use symbols such as language, clothing, music, jewelry, and behavior to reject and negate conventional adulthood. The problem is that the more involved with and the more radical the subculture, the less able is the adolescent to enter mainstream society and consequently social dislocation becomes entrenched.

To be sure, some youth subcultures may be devoted to and shaped by protest/resistance, but to see youth only in this way is no longer appropriate as our world changes and notions of a mainstream culture are replaced by notions of a plurality of cultures. Therefore youth would not be resisting any single dominant class, political system, or adult culture. Despite highlighting the problems of adolescent marginalization and adjustment, the CCCS subcultural view point has been criticized for: romanticizing youth while ignoring 'ordinary kids' who are too drab or passive to warrant investigation; focusing on class and age while neglecting other variables such as gender and ethnicity; universalizing from studies that focused only on a minority of youth--working-class males--unconsciously reflecting the researcher's class background. Subcultural analysis tends to essentialize the cultural formation of youth, ignoring the experience of females while over-emphasizing the differences and dichotomies of domination/subordination, expression/repression or regulation and normal/delinquent in the focus on styles (McRobbie, 1991). Furthermore, they ignore commonalities, continuities and the active choices that young people make, despite personal agency being circumscribed by the diversity of structures, institutions, values, family and peers that one interacts with.

Dick Hebdige (1979) criticized the over-emphasis on the intergenerational opposition between young and old instead focusing on style and life-style in the construction of youth subcultural identity. The names of some youth subcultures--teddy boys, bodgies, widgies, mods, rockers, punks, skinheads, rastafarians, hipsters, beatniks, hippies, hip hoppers, rappers, surfies, homies, metallers--are notable for the way they focus on the style of dress, mannerisms and the type of music that provide some of the cohesiveness for the group and invoke images of particular types of behavior, which is usually perceived by adults as rebellious, negative and even violent.

Hebdiges's work, by focusing on style and lifestyle seems to maintain its relevance far more today when understanding youth than many of the other CCCS works, now that times have moved on under neoliberal environments with accompanying changes in work, cultures and society in the late 20th and early 21st century. It still resonates now that the old forms factory work have largely disappeared especially in UK and USA youth are forging their identities in a globalized consumerist world. The old understandings of working class no longer hold in the 21st century now that many youth are involved in higher education until their early 20s. Others of course are employed in low paying 'McJobs' in the service industry. The CCCS class analysis fails to acknowledge or even consider distinctions, contradictions, multiplicities and complex variations within the category 'working class'--not even considering ethnic, sexuality and gender differences nor spatiality and the effects of private and public spaces. It ignored the impact of migration on the working class especially of people of colour from former British colonies such as West Indies, Pakistan, India and Africa who in many cases gained work in factories and became part of the industrial working class. Instead of assessing the impact of globalization, what it maintained was "an ethnic and nationalist myopia planted firmly in the soil of an agrarian England transcoded onto the urban setting" (McCarthy & Logue, 2009, p. 151).

Postmodern approaches tend to emphasize the dual cultural processes of constructing youth identity, through the market as an aspect of the culture of advanced consumerism and through the agency of youth themselves. The categorization of youth, in relation to the market--be it the young cosmetics and beauty market, the youth fashion market, or the latest music fad--is highlighted as a socio-cultural construction based on the concept of style, and life style, an emphasis on what Foucault called the 'aesthetics of existence'. Foucault, influenced by both Nietzsche and Heidegger (who are often considered forefathers of postmodernism) talked of making one's life a work of art. Here is the basis for a new sociology of youth beginning from Nietzschean premises that emphasize an 'aesthetics of self' and questions of self-stylization.

Managing 'risky' youth subjects

There seems to be a continuing theme in discourses of youth that positions them as either 'bad' or 'good' with few positioned in any middle ground between these binary extremes. Moreover, contemporary discourses are dominated by negative views that position youth as either victims or perpetrators, as being 'at risk', alien, or dangerous, as drug using, gang-oriented, over-sexed, as dominated by consumer and popular culture (the MTV generation). Adult observers seem to not notice that youth behave in largely the same manner as adults, but seem more than content to blame youth for bad behavior ignoring that many adults behave in the same manner and in fact 'framing' youth in order to control them (see Males, 2002). Social analysis that tend to view youth as victims sees them, according to Mike Males, a 'scapegoat' generation in USA, or as Henry Giroux argues, a 'fugitive culture' that has had its innocence stolen by corporate culture and been 'abandoned' in a post 9/11 world. Ronald Strickland's edited collection argues that neoliberalism makes war on the young (Males, 1996; Giroux, 1996, 2000, 2004; Strickland, 2002).

There has been considerable effort and debate by social theorists in describing and naming successive generations of youth. Those born since the Post World War II baby boom (i.e. after 1964) are variously described as Generation X, followed by then Gen-Y (born 1977-1995), and finally Millennials (1982-2001) (Howe & Strauss, 1992, 2000; Strauss & Howe, 2006). Jean Twenge (2006) combines GenX and GenY calling them 'Generation Me' and accuses those born after 1970 of being more narcissistic, believing they can be anything they want to be, are more open sexually, disrespectful of authority, but more stressed and depressed than earlier generations because they have been brought up with too much emphasis on self-esteem and too little reality.

There are some, but far fewer positive discourses about youth. Favorable views about youth seem to appear less frequently, not surprisingly because the media tends to overwhelmingly present the views of many adults who see youth as, strange, alien, exotic, savage, even feral as Stanley Cohen pointed out several decades ago when he talked about moral panics and folk devils (Cohen, 1981). In effect the media primarily portrays youth as the 'Other' which is unable to control or govern themselves. What is at play is a variation on notions of the evil or the innocent child that emanate from deep-seated dualities and fears that adults have about young people and their behavior and which result in all manner of attempts to control or govern youth behaviors. Such a negative depiction of youth is frightening, so by gathering knowledge about youth various interventions and techniques can be devised and applied in order to monitor, analyze, contain, correct and if necessary, confine or incarcerate youth as seems appropriate. Information and knowledge about youth is collected from a myriad of sources and from professionals in all fields e.g. psy sciences, medical, legal, economics, sociologists, geographers, demographers, marketing and advertising etc. Could it be that in academia and associated publishing, as in other areas of the media, positive stories don't 'sell' or launch careers as well as those about 'bad' things and excess? (a topic for future research maybe?) On the positive discourse side, some youth are described as responsible, rational and even politicized (especially during the 2008 US elections) although being politicized is by no means simply seen as positive.

The notion of 'risk' as applied to youth has two main interpretations. One involves 'being risky' or undertaking behavior perceived as risky. It holds a psychological dimension and is often held as a defining feature of youth, willingness to take risks rather than simply ill-considered. A second interpretation involves multiple discourses of youth 'at risk' and consequent sets of interventions that institutions put in place to deal with youth so labeled. The first interpretation is an important aspect of political agency and therefore of political (community) service is compromised by the second. Government discourses about educational risk have played out recently in policy such as No Child Left Behind. In the current neoliberal environment, to avoid and mange educational risk, a prudential rationality has evolved whereby youth are now expected to invest in their own education, taking out student loans and selecting educational courses at the best colleges--a self-investment that is forced upon them and aided by guidance counselors and others. To understand this new form of risk, we need to go beyond cultural studies to the changing economics of the self, to governmentality. This will be examined in a later subsection, following this brief examination of discourses of 'at-risk' youth.

Considerable attention has been paid to the notion of 'at-risk' youth in recent years, with the emphasis being on problems such as youth crime, violence, gangs, drug and alcohol abuse, academic performance, dropping out and teen pregnancy etc, in effect continuing the discourse of youth a problem begun by G. Stanley Hall in 1905. What defines 'at risk' youth? The media and many social critics strongly promote a view that youth face more serious and critical risks than previous generations, focusing on the problems listed above. Parents, teachers and many psychologists and social theorists understandably worry that exposure to gangs, bullying and violence in schools; poverty; poor schools; changing and deteriorating family structures; substance abuse; violent and sexualized media images are likely to put youth at risk. Moreover, youth who have a higher level stresses in life are more likely to be less resilient than their peers and to cope by abusing substances; becoming sexual active; engaging in gangs and/ or crime; self-harming and attempting suicide. At-risk youth who run away from home and live on the streets are subject to and engage in dangerous activities just to survive and may eventually find themselves subject to youth justice system and incarcerated. Being labeled 'at risk' tends to reinforce youth as dangerous, to themselves and both to and from others; as relatively powerless yet with power, albeit in its negative form as resistance, rebellious, anti-social even criminal and marginalized.

A brief review of 'at risk' youth websites is informative. The US site, is "a resource for parents and the general public in search of information about at-risk youth. This site will present you with information and articles about helping at-risk youth." The site's pages include: "resources" with links to related sites; "who is at risk?"; "development of juvenile justice"; "who is to blame?" It then lists at-risk youth articles respectively: "Oppositional-Defiant Disorder; Peer Pressure; Options for troubled teens; Teen Depression; Teen Suicide; Teen Violence; Teens & Alcohol; Teens that Runaway; Teen Drug Abuse; ADD; ADHD; Anorexia; Bulimia." The site's home page asks:

Whats [sic] Being Done?
   Over the past decade, more and more attention has been
   given to the issues associated with "at-risk youth" including
   youth crime, violence, sex, substance abuse,
   poor academic performance, etc. Research shows that atrisk
   youth struggle with complex issues and scenarios
   that are brought on by peers, mentors, family members,
   and difficult social environments. The increased complexity
   of today's at-risk youth has forced parents and
   federal agencies to work together to find solutions.
   There has been growing interest in community-based
   efforts that help to educate and direct at-risk youth and
   families to a variety of helpful services. This is evident
   by the recent support of at-risk youth programs or
   initiatives by federal agencies such as the OJJDP (Office
   of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention). The
   OJJDP has recently joined with other federal agencies to
   help bring about the SafeFutures initiative and the
   Children at Risk initiative. (

A link is provided for parents to access Help for Troubled teens at, which has blogs, phone numbers and links for "suggestions for families; How Badly is your Teen Struggling? Common Teen Drugs; Boarding Schools for Trouble Teens; Teenage Abortion." This site links with psychological diagnoses as per the DSM and social analysis and comment and suggested interventions.

The American Bar Association (ABA), Commission on Youth at Risk at, with the slogan "America's youth are our most important asset", provides links to "ABA policies concerning youth; ABA activities that support youth; partnership with Girl Scouts; National Roundtable series; Programs across the nation; what lawyers can do." The ABA makes clear links for youth at risk in terms of education and law, for example:
   ABA Criminal Justice Section's Juvenile Justice Committee
   recently sponsored "From Truancy to Zero Tolerance:
   The Changing Border of Education and Juvenile
   Justice." The program, held on Aug. 23 in Washington,
   D.C., featured ABA President Karen J. Mathis as moderator.

   Expert panelists presented information on a truancy intervention
   program, and addressed zero tolerance, special
   education and disability rights vis-a-vis delinquency,
   and alternative remedies to court referrals. http://www.

The Introduction to Morley & Rossmans' report (2006) states that assessing that youth at risk and their families have multiple needs, has meant that many collaborative, community-based interventions have developed, now that use "case management, parental involvement, using volunteers for tutoring and mentoring, integrating services and comprehensive rather than narrow services." Furthermore:
   Support for such initiatives by federal agencies and
   foundations underscores the interest in exploring these
   approaches and in communicating lessons learned to
   assist similar efforts. For example, the U. S. Department
   of Justice's (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
   Prevention (OJJDP) provides support for the
   SafeFutures initiative. A federal interagency partnership,
   including the U.S. Departments of Commerce and
   Health and Human Services and OJJDP, supported
   Communities in Schools (CIS). The Annie E. Casey
   Foundation funded the New Futures initiative in five
   cities. OJJDP and two other DOJ agencies, the Bureau of
   Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Justice,
   joined a consortium of foundations, trusts, and other
   organizations to support the Children at Risk (CAR)
   initiative. Another community-based collaboration supported
   by the Bureau of Justice Assistance is the
   Comprehensive Communities Program, which addresses
   overall community crime prevention and includes a
   youth crime prevention component (see http://www.

Another example of a US program which has a 30 year history of dealing with at risk youth is the Crossroads Programs, begun in 1978, which "has worked to build better futures for disadvantaged children and their families. Our mission is to empower youth who are homeless, abandoned, abused, or at-risk to lead healthy, productive lives." ( Their programs, which are listed on the website as: "Capable Adolescent Mothers; Cinnaminson House [homeless youth, 16-21]; Community Care for Kids [Specialized foster homes for emotionally disturbed children who are at risk of placement in a residential treatment facility]; Flexible Solutions [temporary placement foster care during an emergency or for a respite period]; Just for You Learning Lab; Preteen Promise; Project DISCOVERY [homes for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or questioning) youth]; Rites of Passage Transitional Housing Program [intensive life skills training, job coaching and placement, case management, and transitional housing]; Second Chance Homes [transitional housing program for homeless teen mothers and their children]; Transitional Living Program; Trinity Place Host Homes [for runaway and homeless youth while family reunification is negotiated and/or other needed services are put in place.]" have a distinct Rogerian emphasis:
   Our programs are designed to encourage the personal
   development of children and youth while working to
   strengthen and support healthy relationships among
   family members. We believe that all youth deserve a
   chance to discover and put to use their inherent strengths
   and talents in order to become successful, contributing
   adults. Our approach is to promote positive, healthy
   child and adolescent development by fostering responsibility,
   resiliency, and respect for self and others. Safe
   housing, counseling, and appropriate referral and followup
   services are delivered in an atmosphere of positive
   regard and care. (

There are many other initiatives, sources of information and programs aimed at assisting youth at risk and examples on the Internet e.g. Teen Help Us--; The Bureau for at risk youth-- 131&selection=20: Hot Topic: At-Risk Youth--http://www.service; a wilderness camp in Selkirk Mountain Range, Idaho--http://www.ascent4teens. com/; selected bibliography, Mentoring Youth at Risk, at http:// Such programs have laudable aims and varying degrees of effectiveness, but when all else fails, unfortunately the next stop for at risk youth tends to be the youth justice system and the possibility of incarceration, especially for males and non-white youth. The USA criminal justice system exerts a heavy disciplinary power, currently incarcerating more youth than any other country in the world. These youth are largely male with minorities disproportionally represented. As Wikipedia notes:
   On any given day more than 126,000 youth are serving
   time in jails and prisons based on rates from the year
   Approximately 500,000--half a million--youth are
   brought to detention centers in a given year (Homan, &
   Ziedenburg, 2006, p. 3) Minority youth are disproportionately
   represented in incarcerated populations relative
   to their representation in the general population. A recent
   report from the National Council on Crime and
   delinquency found that minority youth are treated more
   severely than white youth at every point of contact with
   the system--from arrest, to detention, to adjudication, to
   incarceration--even when charged with the same crime
   (Poe-Yamagata, & Jones, 2000). In 1995, African American
   youths made up 12% of the population, but were
   arrested at rates double those for Caucasian youths (The
   Trauma Foundation, 2004). The trend towards adult adjudication
   has had implications for the racial make-up of
   the juvenile prison population as well. Minority youth
   tried in adult courts are much more likely to be sentenced
   to serve prison time than white youth offenders
   arrested for similar crimes (Males & MacAllair, 2000).

US youth justice is generally a state mandated affair. A study comparing Texas and California youth incarceration policies from 19952006 reveals very different policies but little difference in reducing crime; Texas has increased imprisonment for younger offenders for less serious crimes while California has diverted and used noncustodial sentences for many youth, while placing older youth committing more serious crime in correctional facilities (Males, Stahl kopf, & Macallair, 2007).
   This result suggests that juvenile crime control policies
   that emphasize incarceration and similar punitive measures
   need to be reconsidered, and that Texas's current
   youth incarceration policy is unjustified and unnecessary.
   Given the recent human rights abuses occurring in
   Texas and California youth correctional facilities, crime
   control policies that emphasize non-incarcerative options
   should be given greater priority. The savings achieved
   by reduced incarceration could be reinvested in a range
   of community-based interventions. (Males, Stahlkopf, &
   Macallair, 2007--

Many states have increased the numbers of laws so they now try youth as adults. There has been a particularly punitive approach rolls back of the very notion of youth justice which separates youth under age 18 from adults in the justice system and is intended to rehabilitate as well as punish, instead putting thousands of young people at risk of harmful consequences that are often permanent because it limits their education, future employment prospects and disenfranchises them--often for minor and non-violent offences. The US national statistics are alarming (see Appendix) and the situation is being challenged by various campaigns within the US and beyond (e.g. Campaign for Youth Justice, http://www.campaign; Youth Justice in Action, http://www.youthjustice; Building Blocks for Youth, initiatives/usprograms/focus/justice/articles_publications/publication s/public_opinion_youth_20011001).

In contrast to the way youth justice operates in USA, the New Zealand Youth Justice system, for a much smaller country of course, still maintains a very separate system for youth and one which emphasizes rehabilitation and restorative justice practices (3) (see; also, Morris & Maxwell, 1998; Just as New Zealand aims to reduce provide alternatives to incarceration for youth so they do not start their adult lives with criminal records, the move to allow for youth development and community treatment is favored by The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) (see: JuvenileDetentionAlternativesInitiative.aspx):
   a private-public partnership being implemented nationwide,
   with pilot programs in California, Oregan, New
   Mexico and Illinois. Their goal is to make sure that
   locked detention is used only when absolutely necessary.
   Their approach is multi-faceted, including multiple emphases
   on: Inter-governmental collaboration; reliance on
   data; creation and implementation of objective admissions
   screening for detention facilities; expedited case
   processing to reduce pretrial detention; improved handling
   of "special cases"; express strategies to reduce
   racial disparities; improving the conditions of confinement;
   and researching, testing, and endorsing alternatives
   to confinement.

   Alternatives to confinement are sensitive to family and
   culture, and treatment is often built around the strengths
   of the youth and their families. Alternative treatment
   methods might include any combination of the following,
   as well as other approaches: diversion, mentorship,
   Aggression Replacement Training, Functional Family
   Therapy, and multi-systemic therapy.

   The JDAI has produced some promising results from
   their programs. Detention center populations fell by between
   14% and 88% in JDAI counties over the course of
   7 years 1996-2003). These same counties saw declines
   in juvenile arrests (an indicator of overall juvenile crime
   rates) during the same time period ranging from 37-54%
   (Holman and Zeidenberg, 2006, pp. 14-15). They
   are succeeding in reducing youth incarceration and
   youth crime. (

In effect, if youth cannot or will not control their conduct with or without the assistance of others, the state will control it for them. If youth do not use their agency, autonomy and self-regulate to become docile bodies and subjects that are useful for the state, then the state will administer its disciplinary biopower in the form of the youth justice system--governmentality in action.

Beyond cultural studies: the changing economics of self

Just as adults have problems, youth clearly they do too, but the at risk youth discourse tends ignore that problems are not limited to youth and tends to produce totalizing descriptions of youth, which completely ignores the fact that in USA and UK the vast majority of youth are involved in education. They are in effect responsible, 'docile' young people, mostly following expected and even prescribed paths of youth development, e.g. in the USA, "About three-quarters of the freshman class graduated from high school on time with a regular diploma in 2004-05" ( 2008032.pdf). While closer to 100% may be the goal, and the statistics indicate different completion rates between states in effect highlighting problem areas which happen to be mostly in the south where there are large African-American populations and in agriculturally oriented states. "Status dropout rates for Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics ages 16-24 have each generally declined between 1972 and 2006. Rates for Whites remained lower than rates for Hispanics and Blacks" ( Some young people who do not complete "on time" or drop out will do so later at adult high schools and others will be employed. Furthermore participation in higher education is higher than ever in the western world (see USA indicators (4)).
   The rate at which high school completers ages 16-24
   enrolled in college in the fall immediately after high
   school was approximately 50 percent in most years between
   1972 and 1980. By 1997, this rate had increased to
   67 percent and has fluctuated between 62 and 69 percent
   since then. Although immediate college enrollment rates
   increased overall between 1972 and 2006 for both
   Whites and Blacks, there has been no overall change in
   the White-Black gap. For Hispanics, the rate has fluctuated
   over time but increased overall between 1972 and
   2006. Nonetheless, the gap between Hispanics and
   Whites has widened over this period. In 2006, the
   immediate college enrollment rate was 58 percent for
   Hispanics, compared with 69 percent for Whites. (http://

These young people are following expected paths of development in mostly finishing High school--the expected standard in USA. Subsequently over half enter university and most enter adult life as responsible citizens, getting jobs, setting up homes, families and so on--chasing the American Dream. They appear to have exercised agency and have made rational decisions (maybe with help from parents, teachers, guidance counselors) in their own self-interest as to what course in education suits them the most and will fulfil their potential and dreams of happiness the 'good life'. They invest in themselves by taking student loans to obtain a university education, opting for courses that will hopefully and eventually maximize their earning potential. They are in effect becoming entrepreneurs of the self.

Traditional conceptions of rationality that govern agental models of the self emphasize not only simplifying assumptions of individuality, rationality and self-interest, but also risk-averse activity or at least a calculation of risk as part of a rationality assumption. Indeed it is the case that the risk taking agent is the paradigm of the model of the entrepreneur beginning with Callon and Schumpeter and the entrepreneurial self. In other words the management of risk is an integral part of rationality and decisionmaking designed to enhance self-interest in the neo-classical model. In this section, I use the discourse of 'risk' as the background against which to bring into alignment Foucault's notion of governmentality and his emphasis on the government of self with two aspects of risk discourse--'being risky' or 'at risk' as already discussed in the previous section, and calculating and managing risk, i.e. the entrepreneurial self.

There are serious grounds now for doubting the theoretical centrality of homo economicus and its extension into the social realm through the concept of the entrepreneurial self. Not only is this figure of rationality open to question on the basis of advances in behavioral economics and finance (see especially the work of Shiller, 2000), but also the overturning of principles of neoliberalism by the Obama administration now leads to speculation about a new socialized or community self where risk is once again socialized although differently from the Keynesian welfare state. This explains for instance new Obama policy programs to extend and socialize health insurance, to introduce community service for young people, and to emphasize the values of equality, community and unity that transcend the old 1960s dualisms between black/white; males/females; and North/South. In these latest policy constructions, the driving logic of identity formation is much more anchored in the concepts of belonging, participation, and collaboration which are all relational characteristics that de-emphasize processes of individualism and individualization.

These principles and this new collective logic of identity gel well with the new reality of networks and the application of social media and social networking to a whole host of problems in education, democracy promotion, community building and politics.

This new socialized self is different from any unvarnished socialist or Keynesian welfare state notions of self. It is also different from nationalist notions of self by virtue of the logic of networks and by the new ethic of participation and collaboration that are sparked by the web as platform. Perhaps a better term for this social fabrication of the self is 'neo-social' self or 'participatory' self.

Contemporary identity studies now view the constitution and manufacture of consciousness and subjectivity in the light of current cultural processes of formation including globalization, the 'knowledge economy', and transnational migrations of not just companies and finance but of people. Accordingly, new social media and new technologies also play a part in identity formation and new patterns of work in post-industrial societies and new discourses are emerging:

... concerning questions of power and identity, especially in relation to rising unemployment, to social media, to globalization, and to new forms of work. A new generation of social theorists and researchers look for approaches that link discourse, power, psychology and the self (Peters, 2009, p. 131).

One of these new discourses is 'behavioral economics' which has evolved using insights from psychological discourse--cognitive and emotional behavior in relation to rationality and decision-making, self-interest and public choice--while, rejecting some aspects of neoclassical theory based on the homo economicus (see http://en. Peters states that:

... the question of identity strongly influences economic thinking and behavior and people do not behave in the way that the strong rationality model of neoclassical economics has taught us to believe on the basis of Homo economicus (Peters, 2009, p. 131).

What behavioral economics does is introduce the emotions to traditional concepts of rationality, something that feminist theorist such as Diana Meyers (2000) had already established in philosophical understandings of the self in her work, 'Feminist perspectives on the self,' (see: The emotional context has been expanded somewhat with the former Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Alan Greenspan unintentionally contributing a key notion, "irrational exuberance" to behavioral economics in a speech given in 1996 during a stock market boom. The phrase, describing "a heightened state of speculative fervor", become popularized as a result of the stock markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, London and New York slumping immediately after his speech; Robert Shiller's 2000 book, Irrational Exuberance, and now with the 2008-09 financial crisis, it signifies the excesses of a past era (Shiller,

In Paper 8, 'Enterprise Culture and the Entrepreneurial Self', of our book, Subjectivity and Truth, Foucault, Education and the Culture of Self (Besley & Peters, 2007), these ideas are discussed in some detail and I only briefly point to some of these here. In the 1980s 'enterprise culture' which emerged in the UK under Margaret Thatcher--a profound shift away from the Keynesian welfare state to a neoliberal model of the entrepreneurial self, based on the rejuvenation of homo economicus.

A genealogy of the entrepreneurial self reveals that it is the relationship, promoted by neoliberalism, that one establishes to oneself through forms of personal investment (for example, user charges, student loans) and insurance that becomes the central ethical component of a new individualized and privatized consumer welfare economy. In this novel form of governance, responsibilized individuals are called upon to apply certain management, economic, and actuarial techniques to themselves as subjects of a newly privatized welfare regime. In this context Burchell's remark made in the context of a Foucauldian analysis of neoliberalism that an 'enterprise form' is generalized to all forms of conduct and constitutes the distinguishing mark of the style of government, could not be more apt (Burchell, 1996, p. 275). At one and the same time enterprise culture provides the means for analysis and the prescription for change: education and training are key sectors in promoting national economic competitive advantage and future national prosperity (Besley & Peters, 2007, p. 164).

Neoliberalism promoted a deliberate policy shift from a 'culture of dependency' to one of 'self-reliance' and 'responsibilization'. In effect what has emerged is a

'new prudentialism' in education that focuses on an entrepreneurial self that 'responsibilizes' the self to make welfare choices based on an actuarial rationality. It is a form that seeks to 'insure' the individual against risk, since in this instance; the State has transferred this risk to the individual. Such moves constitute new types of subjectivity--nothing less than what/how we become as human beings (Besley & Peters, 2007, pp. 155-156).

Neoliberalism can be seen as an intensification of moral regulation based on the radical withdrawal from government and responsibilization of individuals through economics and it emerges as an actuarial form of governance that promotes an actuarial rationality through the encouragement of a political regime of ethical self-constitution as consumer-citizens (Besley & Peters, 2007, p. 159).

In this form of government, the citizen-consumer, became 'responsible' for making 'choices' about their "lifestyles, their bodies, their education and health", calculating the risks and investing in themselves "at critical points in the life-cycle--birth, 'starting school,' 'going to university,' 'first job', marriage, retirement,"--i.e. paying for higher education and taking out student loans if necessary (p. 160). We point out that under neoliberalism, 'choice' is not simply 'consumer sovereignty' but rather a moralisation and responsibilization--a regulated choice-making transfer responsibility from State to the individual in the social market. Its specific forms have entailed a tearing up of labour law under the welfare state and an emphasis upon more privatised forms of welfare often involving tougher accountability mechanisms and security/video surveillance. The 'risk society' is put in place through actuarial mechanisms and there is an emphasis on all forms of insurance as a means of reducing risk to the individual (in areas of employment, education, accident, security, retirement). In one sense, this is the primary link between government and the government of the self, which is promoted in its relation to choice making through cybernetic and information systems. Neoliberalism has a suspicion of autonomous form of self-regulation. Actuarialism is a mobilisation of one predominant structure of expert knowledge and an interrogation of the autonomy, which accompanies other expert knowledges of teachers, social workers (traditional forms under the welfare state). Prudentialism refers to the new form of insurance against risk, which is 'forced' onto individual as consumers in the social market. The mode of 'forced choice' which encourages a 'responsibilization' Peters calls 'actuarial rationality' as in making consumer choices concerning education as a service individual consumers in effect become actuaries calculating the risks of their own self-investments (Besley & Peters, 2007, p. 160).

In recent years the UK in a move to create enterprise culture which has more recently been formulated as a move towards a 'knowledge economy'. It has been embarking on a move from only the elite and middle class being able to afford to attend university, to mass higher education and has also instituted enterprise education in school curricula. The UK aims to catch up with the USA in terms of numbers attending higher education and has instituted mechanisms for them to pay for this to invest in themselves, as has been required for years of American young people who wished to attend college:
   about one third of young people go on to higher education
   at age 18 (with almost 50% of students in Scotland),
   and an increasing number of "mature" students are
   studying either full-time or part-time for university degrees.
   Higher education is a current policy priority for
   the government, with a target set to attract 50% of 18- to
   30-year-olds to higher education by 2010. (http://www.

In this manner young people and sometimes their families are holding the risk that this will pay off. Ulrich Beck defined risk defined "as a systematic way of dealing with hazards and insecurities induced and introduced by modernization itself" (Beck, 1992, p. 21). Further, he coins "the risk society", which "is characterized essentially by a lack: the impossibility of an external attribution of hazards. In other words, risks depend on decisions, they are industrially produced and in this sense politically reflexive." (Beck, 1992, p. 183)

Such 'risk' is not limited to individuals, but can also play out nationally. Fore example, the 1981 report Nation at Risk considered that the USA's pre-eminence as a world leader both economically and technologically was at risk and worried that:
   the educational foundations of our society are presently
   being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens
   our very future as a Nation and a people. What was
   unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur others
   are matching and surpassing our educational

In 1998 the same rhetoric was revived in A Nation Still at Risk: An Education Manifesto ( This document outlines the risk management regime for US education systems in terms of 'ten break-through changes for the 21st century' including the now familiar, 'national academic standards', 'standards-based assessment' and 'tough accountability systems,' alongside 'school choice', charter schools, deregulated teacher force, differential teacher pay systems, and 'essential academic skills.' The rhetoric and the national risk management strategy are very similar to the UK's approach to education policy (Besley & Peters, 2007). In the process of becoming governable, both 'youth' and 'risk' become categories problematizing young people such that new forms of knowledge are created and interventions devised and applied.

New social media and politicized youth in 21st century

In earlier work (Besley 2006; Besley & Peters, 2007) I discussed the way youth in UK used new media in 2003 to mount protests against the start of the Iraq war, in particular the 'Hands Up for Peace' campaign initiated by London schoolgirls Neela Dolezalova and Rowenna Davis (; http:// Prior to this, adults seem to have despaired that youth were disengaged politically, but the Iraq war and US presidential election have dispelled this notion.

A further example of politicization of youth and the use of new media technologies has occurred in 2008 USA Presidential elections and has begun to change perceptions about youth. The campaign of Barack Obama in both the Primaries and the Presidential election has involved the engagement of youth (under 30s) of all ethnicities on a scale unprecedented since the 1960s. The youth cultures of the Internet generation, Generation Y, or Millennials, has been harnessed via new social media such as YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and blogs. For example:
   Before the rally [at George Mason University more than
   a week before announcing his Presidential campaign],
   Obama's campaign already knew they had a massive
   presence on Facebook. Students for Barack Obama
   (SFBO) had around 60,000 members, and even more
   astonishingly, a 26-year-old named Farouk Olu Aregbe
   had assembled more than 200,000 in his Facebook group
   "Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack)" in
   little more than two weeks (the group now has more than
   272,000 members). (

Obama's slogans 'Change we can believe in', "Yes We Can" and "We're the Ones We've Been Waiting for", resonate with youth who see positive comparisons to John F. Kennedy's slogan, "the torch is being passed" in what seems to hark back to the revolutionary ideals and changes of the 1960s. It may however be to a certain extent, a romanticising of the past, seeking a return to a golden age, much simpler and more certain. Nevertheless the spirit of change of the 1960s in terms of civil rights, women's rights and a belief in peace and working together is attractive to many young people. Michael Delli Carpini, (Dean, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania), sees that "on campuses across America, the Boomer legacy of social development is coming to fruition," (Lubrano, 2008). As some students say:

"Older people see color as an issue," said Melissa Smyth, 18, a Rowan University freshman from Dennisville, Cape May County. "With my generation, electing a black president would be a positive. It says to black people there are no differences." Agreeing completely, Talia Sykes, 25, a Rowan graduate student from Mount Laurel, said: "My generation is all about change and diversity. I go to a diverse college, a diverse workplace. My partying is diverse. We're a generation that holds hands and sits with each other, and you don't have to look like me."

On campuses across America, the Boomer legacy of social development is coming to fruition, said "One of the biggest differences of this generation is its incredible open-mindedness to diversity," he said. (Lubrano, 2008)

Obama's appeal to a wide cross-section of America's youth is based on many things: his personal charisma and youth (he is 46); being biracial (Kenyan and white) and his emphasis on diversity with an appeal to a broad section of people; his intelligence and inspiring words (educated at both Colombia and Harvard and the first African American to lead the Harvard Law Review); an aversion to the way dynasties seem to be occurring in presidential politics; opposing the Iraq war and his message of change and hope for both domestic and foreign policies. As a warning note, Mark Bauerlein, sees an appeal to the vanities of youth or 'the youth temptation' in the suggestion that
   they are special, the smartest generation yet, occupying
   not only a unique point in time, and that they can fix
   what their predecessors were unable to do. 'When Obama
   talks about change, adults hear policy adjustments on
   Iraq, taxes, health care, etc. When 18-29-year-olds hear
   "change," it means erasure of the old, the irrelevance of
   the past.' (

Nevertheless, it was with the support of the youth vote as well as others that saw the historical election of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th president of the USA. No wonder youth feel special and engaged with democracy at long last. They are democratized, politicized and responsible citizens. They are not only governed but are engaged in the selection process of who shall govern them and under which conditions.


Under late capitalism, in the postmodern era, where the culture of consumption has taken over from the culture of production, youth can be better understood in terms of them consuming their identities in the global marketplace where style and identity become inextricably mixed. From the early 1980s we have seen multinational corporations targeting niche markets of specific age or interest groups (e.g. pre-teens, tweenies, kidults, generation X, rappers, hip hoppers, homies, surfer) and focusing on their multiple identities, differences, desires and buying-power. The central idea here is the way the market infiltrates the social fabric, probing into sensitive zones, from preschool to youth, from the barely linguistic in order to 'train' young market populations in the habits and disciplines of consumerism. Now, more than ever, kids find their identities and values in the marketplace, rather than in traditional sources such as the family, church, school that comprise a locality, and moreover, that marketplace is an increasingly globalized one. Style is clearly influenced by fashion, the cult of celebrity--including celebrities, TV or movie stars, royalty or sports stars--advertising, music, video games and the plethora of multi-media and social networking sites. A characteristic of style is the use of bricolage, assembly, pastiche, blending or hybridization where although a particular stylistic theme may be adopted, there is often some element of difference devised by youth in an attempt to assert their individuality (and maybe even an element of control) within the choices that are available and the statements about themselves and identity that they are making.

New tools are needed to explain and understand youth in our current and future world that is globalized, multi-lingual and multi-cultural, where humanist theories of the self and much of both psychologized and sociologized paradigms have become obsolete and therefore stand in need of refinement. If we follow postmodern theorists we move away from universalizing notions about youth towards acknowledging plurality and difference (age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion etc.). It is also necessary to acknowledge contradictory tendencies: while Western youth seem to be gaining more personal autonomy within familial and educational structures that is partly a result of new forms of income, they are not necessarily gaining increased freedom as centralized forms of control based on the surveillance state and the dominance of the global multi-national market become ever more sophisticated in manipulated their needs. There is also move in the new discourses about youth to move away from an emphasis on temporality as development to acknowledging concerns of spatiality and cultural situatedness. Youth discourses also tend to emphasize becoming rather than being, identity rather than self and focus on cultural formations of subjectivity. Foucault's notion of power/knowledge leads us to understand better the inseparability of discourses, institutions and cultural practices, and to seek a more holistic understanding of youth in terms of subjugated knowledges. In examining youth today we need to not only to actually speak with them to gain their perspectives, but also to listen for the little narratives, still largely unwritten, which should not be forced into a consensual metanarrative. Rather than seeing youth as resisting through rituals, and styles, might the use of Foucault's work on power relations, power-knowledge and governmentality now be more fruitful lines of analysis of youth.


Campaign for Youth Justice, USA (accessed April 2009)

National Statistics

These national statistics reflect the reality of trying, sentencing and incarcerating children in the adult criminal justice system.

Youth Crime

Youth commit only a small portion of the nation's crime. For example, in 2006, 12.6 percent of violent crime clearances and 19.1 percent of the property crime clearances nationwide involved only youth. According to the FBI, youth under age 18 accounted for only 15.4% of all arrests.

Youth crime has also been going down for many years. The number of adults arrested in 2006 and in 1997 was virtually the same, whereas the number of juveniles arrested dropped a staggering 24% during that same time frame.

Juvenile Justice System

Every year, juvenile courts in the U.S. handle an estimated 1.6 million cases in which the youth was charged with a delinquency offense.

After arrest, many youth are detained in a detention or residential facility to await a hearing in juvenile or adult court, depending on how they are charged. While in out-of-home placement, youth are separated from their community and their normal day-to-day life (school, jobs, family, etc.).

1 out of every 5 youth who are brought before the court with a delinquency case is placed in a juvenile detention facility.

Detention facilities are meant to temporarily house youth who are likely to commit another crime before their trial or who are likely to skip their court date. Unfortunately, many of the youth held in the 591 detention centers across the country do not meet these criteria and should not be there.

Seventy percent of youth in detention are held for nonviolent charges. More than two-thirds are charged with property offenses, public order offenses, technical probation violations, or status offenses (crimes that wouldn't be crimes if they were adults, like running away or breaking curfew).

The overuse of detention is particularly harsh on youth of color. In 2003, African-American youth were detained at a rate 4.5 times higher than whites. Latino youth were detained at twice the rate of whites.

Nearly 70% of children in public detention centers are in overcrowded facilities holding more youth than they were designed for.

A one-day snapshot of juvenile offenders in detention found that roughly 5% were status offenders.

After adjudication, many youth are sentenced to juvenile correctional facilities or state training schools. On any given day, over 90,000 youth are incarcerated in juvenile correctional facilities.

Adjudicated youth sent to residential placements such as juvenile correctional facilities increased by 44% from 1985 to 2002.

There are less severe alternatives to incarcerating youth, and they work. Community-based programs, including diversion programs, drug treatment, evening reporting centers, treatment clinics and family programs, have been shown to be less costly than detention or incarceration and to help youth stay out of trouble and to not re-offend.

Youth in the Adult Criminal Justice System

An estimated 200,000 youth are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults every year across the United States.

Most of the youth prosecuted in adult court are charged with nonviolent offenses.

Research shows that young people who are kept in the juvenile justice system are less likely to re-offend than young people who are transferred into the adult system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, youth who are transferred from the juvenile court system to the adult criminal system are approximately 34% more likely than youth retained in the juvenile court system to be re-arrested for violent or other crime.

Currently, 40 states permit or require that youth charged as adults be held before they are tried in an adult jail. In some states, if they are convicted, they may be required to serve their entire sentence in an adult jail. On any given day, nearly 7,500 young people are locked up in adult jails.

A significant portion of youth detained in adult jails before their trial are not convicted as adults. As many as one-half of these youth will be sent back to the juvenile justice system or not be convicted. Yet, most of these youth will have spent at least one month in an adult jail and one in five of these youth will have spent over six months in an adult jail.

On any given day, more than 2,000 young people are locked up in adult prisons.

This paper was previously published in Peters, M.A. et al. (Eds.) (2009), Governmentality Studies in Education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 165200.


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(1.) These terms are explored more fully in Papers 3 and 4 in my earlier book, Counseling Youth: Foucault, Power and the Ethics of Subjectivity (Sense Publishers, 2002).

(2.) Foucault's term 'biopower' refers to 'an explosion of numerous and diverse techniques for achieving the subjugations of bodies and the control of populations' (Foucault, 1980: 140). Biopower is a technology of power involving the way the state regulates the population through practices that relate to human life--practices concerning customs, health, sexuality, reproduction, genetics, family, well-being and risk regulation etc. 'Biopolitics' is the style of government that regulates populations through biopower and in his work, The Birth of Biopolitics (Michel Foucault: Lectures at the College De France) Foucault addressed neoliberalism (Foucault, 2008).

(3.) The Youth Justice System ( New Zealand's youth justice system is governed by the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 (the Act). The Act sets out two principles relating to child and young offenders: they are held accountable, and encouraged to accept responsibility, for their behaviour: and they are dealt with in a way that acknowledges their needs and that will give them the opportunity to develop in responsible, beneficial, and socially acceptable ways. The youth justice system takes a diversionary approach and aims to keep young people out of the formal justice system (courts), unless the public interest requires otherwise. The system aims to resolve offending and hold a young offender to account without them receiving a criminal conviction, as they would under the criminal justice system. Experience shows that, once a young person has a criminal record, they tend to carry on breaking the law and their offences may get more serious. The aim is to avoid that. When a child or young person is apprehended the Police have a range of responses available to them. Children under 10 years of age cannot be prosecuted (taken to criminal court) for any criminal offence, but the Police can respond to the offending through warnings and alternative action. Serious offending by this group will normally be dealt with as a care and protection matter through Child, Youth and Family. An apprehended child aged 10 to 13 can only be prosecuted for murder or manslaughter. Other offending by children may be dealt with by police through a warning or diversionary action. More serious offending can result in a Family Group Conference (FGC) and may be referred to the Family Court, where a wide range of orders is available to the Court to address the child's offending. An apprehended young person (someone aged 14 to 16 years old) can be: warned by frontline Police; referred to the Youth Aid division of Police for alternative action (diversion); referred for a youth justice FGC to decide whether a charge should be laid; or arrested and charged in the Youth Court. For very serious offences, the Youth Court may transfer the young person to the adult court system. Where a young person is charged with murder or manslaughter they are automatically dealt with in the High Court. Alleged offenders aged 17 years and over are dealt with in the adult court system.

(4.) Total undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions has generally increased since 1970 and is projected to reach 15.6 million students in 2008 and 17.0 million in 2017. This increase has been accompanied by changes in the proportion of students who are female. From 1970 to 2006, women's undergraduate enrollment increased over three times as fast as men's, surpassing men's enrollment in 1978. During this period, women's enrollment rose from 3.2 to 8.7 million (an increase of 178 percent), while men's enrollment rose from 4.3 to 6.5 million (an increase of 53 percent). From 2007 to 2017, both men's and women's undergraduate enrollments are projected to increase, with women maintaining 57 percent of total enrollment. (
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Author:Besley, Tina A.C.
Publication:Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice
Date:Jul 1, 2009
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