At the start of the 21st century the Liberal democracies, including Australia, are characterized by profound social, economic and cultural transformations. Community, policy and academic discourse is marked by widespread adult anxieties about today’s young people. Representations of youth in the institutional domain of ‘youth studies’ can be conceived as artefacts of the activities of diverse forms of expertise. This paper will focus on the institutionalized processes of abstraction which construct these truths, and the roles played by these processes of abstraction in the restless problematization of ‘youth’ as the object of countless competing and complementary governmental programmes. There has been, in recent years, increased debate about how to do youth studies and how to represent youth. The paper will argue that any rethinking or reassessment of the modes of representing youth ought to take some account of the institutional and abstract nature of these processes of representation, and of the implication of these processes in the regulation of populations of young people; populations which are rendered knowable in all their diversity only through these processes of representation.
Field of Research
169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
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