Book Review: Youth Policy and Social Inclusion: Critical Debates with Young People

    New Asset  

    Youth Policy and Social Inclusion: Critical Debates with
    Young People
    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

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