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YOUTH

Youth cultures are social types which have become public property and these "adolescent groups have symbolised - both in what they were and how they were reacted to - much of the social change which has taken place in Britain over the last twenty years"

Stanley Cohen

Young people are becoming increasingly marginalised across the world and are often experiencing generational forms of injustice through the failures of government and society to acknowledge their vulnerabilities and provide appropriate support. The framing of ‘Youth’ is a complex social construction which involves a ‘blurring of boundaries between youth and adulthood’ (Reisinger, 2012:96) and the de-standardisation of life. Modern understandings of youth stress that ‘youth’ has become nonlinear and complex and repeatedly is a site of uncertainty and change. Furthermore, countless young people experience a variety of social harms and inequalities across many distinctive policy domains: especially in relation to youth justice and criminalisation, employment and education.

 

Disturbingly, the onset of global austerity has continued to reshape and diminish youth welfare policy. Indeed, the dual impact of the 2008 global recession and Covid-19 continues to impact upon the efficacy and range of social policy responses in area as such as youth justice, youth work, welfare and support, housing, health and education. As a result, contemporary global youth are currently experiencing generational social harm(s) and social othering whilst often being denied a voice in the societies they live in. If truth be told, the youth of today are experiencing new forms of social injustice and, to add insult to injury, these developments have become worse as the Covid-19 epidemic has persistently decreased living standards for many young people around the world. Concerns about the marginalisation of young people from all the relevant social and political structures are repeatedly emerging, yet negative portrayals of young people—framed around ‘irresponsibility’ and ‘risky behaviours’— continually contradict demonstrable evidence that expounds the opposite as many young people have sought to volunteer and support others whilst experiencing significant forms of social harm themselves.

 

Set within this context, the aim of (In)Justice International is to build understandings with regard to how young people can and should be better supported. Ultimately, we aim to uncover forms of injustice that hold young people back from reaching their full potential. To do so, we reflect on global research from social policy, sociology, politics, disability studies, human geography, economics, criminology, legal activism and migration studies so that the voice of young people is put first as opposed to last as is constantly happening in the hegemonic neoliberal world we now live in. For relevant videos click here.