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Breath : allegory, knowledge practices, youth at-risk

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conference contribution
posted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by Peter Kelly
Youth and risk are artefacts of expertise, constructed at the intersection of a wide range of knowledges about Youth and so-called Youth issues: an intersection marked by institutionalised, scientific representations of education, family, the life course, risk, and so on. In this paper I suggest that the messiness of human experiences and existence requires knowledge practices in the social sciences that can rethink what counts as truth. These interests – which are grounded in the knowledge practices that frame the work being undertaken in a large scale, qualitative investigation of the cultural drivers shaping the alcohol practices of 14 to 24 year old Australian’s - will be addressed through a discussion of the ways in which Tim Winton’s (2008) new novel Breath can be read as an allegorical tale about the terror of being ordinary: and of the teenage years as being a time in a life in which the fear of being ordinary compels Winton’s key characters to seek out, sometimes stumble upon, and embrace that which promises to make their’s a life less ordinary. In these recollections risk is something that breathes energy and purpose into lifeworlds that are dominated by the institutionalised ordinariness of family, school, and work.

History

Event

Australian Sociological Association. Conference (2008 : Melbourne, Vic.)

Pagination

1 - 15

Publisher

University of Melbourne

Location

Melbourne, VIC

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic.

Start date

2008-12-02

End date

2008-12-05

ISBN-13

9780734039842

Language

eng

Notes

Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.

Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2008, TASA

Editor/Contributor(s)

T Majoribanks, J Barraket, J Chang, A Dawson, M Guillemin, M Henry-Waring, A Kenyon, R Kokanovic, J Lewis, D Lusher, D Nolan, P Pyett, R Robins, D Warr, J Wyn

Title of proceedings

TASA 2008 : Re-imagining sociology : the Annual Conference of The Australian Sociological Association

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