Youth Policy and Social Inclusion: Critical Debates with
Edited by Monica Barry, Routledge
ISBN 0415319048, £22.99
STAR RATING: 4/5
There is a good deal of empathy, frustration and anger around the
various injustices that young people suffer here,
writes John Astley.
The book is in two parts, on overarching themes such as “young
people and citizenship”, and specific issues, such as “young people
and unemployment: from welfare to workfare”.
The information here will be valuable for students, tutors, and
policy-makers (for example, councillors involved in the Children
and Young People’s Trusts).
However, the really innovative aspect of this book is the series of
valuable “postscripts” – comments on each chapter written by young
people – “expert witnesses”. One such debate considers factors that
contribute to social exclusion or prohibit social inclusion. There
is a tendency to accentuate age segregation as the key determinant,
over class, ethnicity or locality.
This focus does tend to see “the young” as a culturally homogeneous
group, which can hinder understanding of where young people
struggle to be included.
John Astley is chair of Voluntary Youth Services, Devon