Risk, resistance and the neoliberal agenda: young people, health and well-being in the UK, Canada and Australia

Brown, Sally, Shoveller, Jeannie, Chabot, Cathy and LaMontagne, Anthony D 2013, Risk, resistance and the neoliberal agenda: young people, health and well-being in the UK, Canada and Australia, Health, risk and society, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 333-346, doi: 10.1080/13698575.2013.796346.

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Title Risk, resistance and the neoliberal agenda: young people, health and well-being in the UK, Canada and Australia
Author(s) Brown, Sally
Shoveller, Jeannie
Chabot, Cathy
LaMontagne, Anthony DORCID iD for LaMontagne, Anthony D orcid.org/0000-0002-5811-5906
Journal name Health, risk and society
Volume number 15
Issue number 4
Start page 333
End page 346
Total pages 14
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1369-8575
Keyword(s) Risk
Health policy
Neoliberal shifts
Young people's health
Structural disadvantage/social inequities
Summary In this article we describe how concepts of risk are both generated by and used to reinforce a neoliberal agenda in relation to the health and well-being of young people. We examine how risk may be used as a tool to advance ideals such as rational choice and individual responsibility, and how this can further disadvantage young people living within the contexts of structural disadvantage (such as geographic areas of long-term unemployment; communities that experience racial discrimination). We also identify the ways in which risk is applied in uneven ways within structurally disadvantaged contexts. To suggest a way forward, we articulate a set of principles and strategies that offer up a means of resisting neoliberal imperatives and suggest how these might play out at the micro-, meso- and macro-levels. To do this, we discuss examples from the UK, Canadian and Australian contexts to illustrate how young people resist being labelled as risky, and how it is possible to engage in health equity-enhancing actions, despite seemingly deterministic forces. The cases we describe reveal some of the vulnerabilities (and hence opportunities) within the seemingly impenetrable world view and powers of neoliberals, and point towards the potential to formulate an agenda of resistance and new directions for young people's health promotion.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13698575.2013.796346
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30061383

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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