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Governing individualized risk biographies : new class intellectuals and the problem of youth at-risk
journal contributionposted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by Peter Kelly
An apparent crisis of youth at-risk is a key marker in contemporary debates about young people among a range of intellectuals, social commentators and experts in various domains and centres of expertise. Drawing on aspects of the reflexive modernization, governmentality and feminist literatures, this paper explores how risk discourses emerge as a means for rendering reality knowable—a technique that facilitates the management of individual biographies in institutionally structured risk environments. In this context there is intellectual work to be done in the social sciences that takes as its object the possibilities and limits of institutionalized intellectual abstraction for problematizing youth via rationalities of risk—and the limits of these rationalities for providing resources for governing our thoughts, actions and dispositions—our freedom.