Poverty and unemployment are on the rise among Canadian youth.Clearly something needs to change, but current social-assistance modelsare based on harmful assumptions about the value of interventionistapproaches with "high-risk" young people.
Reimagining Intervention in Young Lives explores thedifficulties many young people encounter with the "supportsystem" available to them. Drawn from interviews with forty-fiveyouth, this important work resituates the nexus of the problem from thepresumption of incorrigible youth to the recognition that the existingsocial-aid structures make it almost impossible for poor and homelessyouths, no matter how hard they try, to surmount adversity.
Intervention is indeed necessary, but more to challenge theprevailing structures that incorrectly presume how youth themselvesinterpret risk, poverty, and, most important of all, their ownpotential.
This is a significant piece of work on the marginalization of youth ... It is not only a fine example of interview-based qualitative analysis but also an exemplar of communicating research in a clear, defensible -- and socially relevant -- way. This subject is of the utmost importance, especially in a modern context in which the welfare and rights of young people are more and more in question and in which marginalization and privation are becoming greater social stigmas.
Karen R. Foster is Banting Post-Doctoral Fellow inthe Management Department of the Sobey School of Business at SaintMary's University, Halifax. Dale C. Spencer is anassistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University ofManitoba.
1 Seeing Youth and Young People
2 Youth in the Sociology of Work, Work in the Sociology of Youth
3 Getting to Work
4 Being at Work
5 Young People, Neoliberalism, and Social Assistance
6 Abjection and Poverty
7 Everyday Life
Appendix 1: Demographic Profiles
Appendix 2: Interview Guide
Appendix 3: Overview of Ontario Works
Notes; Works Cited; Index
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