CARDIFF SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
Module: Social Policy and Young People (Double Module)
Course Convenor: Dr Howard Williamson
Room GLAMORGAN BUILDING: – 1.63 Time MONDAYS 1210 - 1300
Autumn Semester 2003
A Theoretical and policy context – key traditions
1. Valued, Vulnerable or Villains?: Understanding youth: Youth and adolescence – an historical perspective (the psychology of adolescence, and an emergent sociology/social construction of ‘youth’).
2. Benign neglect….? Just ‘storm and stress’? The emergence of ‘youth (work) policy’ – historical developments (character building: healthy bodies and healthy minds; cultural rescue; political education and community involvement)
3. Being young and becoming adult? Theories of ‘transition’ (extended and multiple transitions)
4. Malign indifference…..? New opportunities, greater risk: The idea of ‘youth policy’ in the 21st century – strategic (from research to policy)
5. Enabling and ensuring a capacity for ‘life management’ The idea of ‘youth policy in the 21st century – operational (from policy to practice)
A cautionary tale: the empirical study of the Milltown Boys
6. ‘Status Zer0’: the first generation What happened to the Milltown Boys?
7. ‘Hard bastards to be avoided and soft touches to be exploited’ The prospective limits of professional intervention
Domains of prospective youth policy
8. “Education, education, education”: Schooling
10. Space and Place of their own: Housing
11. Sad, mad or bad, depraved and deprived? Crime
Spring Semester 2004
12. From family of origin to family of destination: The family
14. The weak link in the chain of socialisation: Leisure
Critical concerns for ‘youth policy’
15. Involving young people in decision-making: Participation and citizenship (combating the democratic deficit, the UN Convention, and more effective practice; representative or categorical participation; the work of the Carnegie Young People Initiative)
16. On the edge? ‘Status Zer0’ youth and the challenge of ‘social exclusion’ (scale, differentiation, causes and consequences, differential support and intervention)
The development of ‘youth policy’ at different political levels
17. The United Nations and the Council of Europe (the UN International Council on national youth policy, and the Council of Europe international reviews of national youth policy – Finland, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Estonia, Luxembourg, Lithuania): core overarching themes and issues
18. The European Union (the 2001 White Paper – citizenship, non-formal learning, autonomy, rights)
19. The United Kingdom/England (the work of the Social Exclusion Unit, Connexions, and the Children and Young People Unit)
20. Wales (Extending Entitlement and the Children and Young People strategic framework, the work of the Youth Policy Unit and the Wales Youth Agency)
Challenges for the making of ‘youth policy’
21. Methodological challenges – quantitative and qualitative inquiry (competing and complex messages for consideration within a broader process of policy development)
22. The relationship between research, policy and practice (the work of the UK ‘Research, Policy and Practice Forum on Young People’ and the United Kingdom Youth Work Alliance)
23. Course review and preparation for the written examination (either in plenary lecture or during final seminar)
40% by examination; 30% each through two written essays, one considering policy implications of changing understanding of ‘youth’, the other seeking a critical reflection on the practical challenges facing the effective implementation of ‘youth policy’.
Lectures are to be supported by a series of four seminars in each semester. Seminar details will be arranged in negotiation with students. It is important for you to note, however, that attendance at seminars is a course requirement. Should seminar attendance prove to be impossible as a result of timetable clashes, some alternative form of ‘participation’ in the course will be expected.
The course benefits from the fact that there is a vast amount of prospective reading available. Beyond the academic literature, there are government websites, official reports and current newspaper articles. Students should looks at the key journals, such as:
· Youth and Policy
· International Journal of Youth Studies
· Young People Now
· The Welsh Journal of Education
For reviews of the most recent literature, have a look at the books page in Young People Now (which is now a weekly 'magazine', which covers all recent policy development in relation to young people).
Remember that we are covering:
· Approaches and understanding: Policy, research and practice
· Territory: Wales, the UK and Europe
· Domains: such as health, housing, education, crime
I expect some evidence that you have paid attention to this spectrum and not just relied on a government web site, OR a textbook, OR a journal article. Build up your thinking and your arguments (for essays and the exam) by reference to a diversity of source material. If you want to look at a very good example of a piece of ethnographic youth research, though it is not one that I will be referring to directly during the course, read Nancy MacDonald’s The Graffiti Subculture (Palgrave 2001). She approached her study of graffiti-writers “with an open mind, though not an empty one”. She also argues that (at least some) theoretical youth research would benefit from “a little less guesswork and a little more fieldwork”. It is an enjoyable read.
For the UK, the best ‘textbook’ material is:
Coles, B. (2000), Joined-Up Youth Research, Policy and Practice: a new agenda for change, Leicester: Youth Work Press
There are three copies available on short loan at the Bute Resource Centre.
Other key academic reading includes:
Ball, S., Maguire, M. and Macrae, S. (2000), Choice, Pathways and Transitions Post-16: New youth, new economies in the global city, London: RoutledgeFalmer
Banks, M., Bates, I., Breakwell, G., Bynner, J.,, Emler, N., Jamieson, L. and Roberts, K. (1992), Careers and Identities, Milton Keynes: Open University Press
Bynner, J., Chisholm, L. and Furlong, A. (eds) (1997), Youth, Citizenship and Social Change in a European Context, Aldershot: Ashgate
Carnegie Young People Initiative (1996), Years of Decision, Leicester: Youth Work Press
Coles, B. (1995), Youth and Social Policy, London: UCL Press
Furlong, A. and Cartmel, F. (1997), Young People and Social Change, Buckingham: Open University Press
Gillis, J. (1971), Youth and History, New York: Academic Press
Jones, G. and Wallace, C. (1992), Youth, Family and Citizenship, Milton Keynes: Open University Press
Jones, G. (2002), The Youth Divide: Diverging Paths to Adulthood, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation
MacDonald, R. (ed.) (1997), Youth, the ‘Underclass’ and Social Exclusion, London: Routledge
Miles, S. (2000), Youth Lifestyles in a Changing World, Buckingham: Open University Press
Pearson, G. (1983), Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears, London: Macmillan
Wallace, C. and Kovacheva, S. (1998), Youth in Society: the Construction and Deconstruction of Youth in East and West Europe, London: Macmillan
Williamson, H. (1997), Youth and Policy: Contexts and Consequences, Aldershot: Ashgate
On the policy front, key material includes:
(1) The Council of Europe
The Council of Europe has undertaken youth policy reviews of Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Romania, Estonia and Luxembourg. There are both country reports and the international review reports available. These are summarised and synthesised in:
Williamson, H. (2002), Supporting young people in Europe: research, policy and practice, Strasbourg: Council of Europe
(2) The European Union
There is a lot of material around on issues of learning and citizenship, but the most important is the EU’s White Paper on youth:
European Commission (2001), A new impetus for European Youth, Brussels: European Commission
(3) The United Kingdom/England
Again, there are numerous policy documents, including attention to particular themes of relevance to this course (such as school exclusions and teenage pregnancy). The most important general analyses, which produced the Connexions service in England and informed the thinking of ‘youth support services’ elsewhere in the United Kingdom, are:
House of Commons Education Select Committee (1998), Disaffected Children, 5th report, London: The Stationery Office
Social Exclusion Unit (1999), Bridging the Gap: new opportunities for 16-18 year olds not in education, employment or training, London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office
Social Exclusion Unit (2000), National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal: Report of Policy Action Team 12 – young people, London: The Stationery Office
Since the inauguration of the National Assembly for Wales (now the Welsh Assembly Government), there have been many distinctive policy developments which affect young people, in relation to, for example, lifelong learning, school inclusion, substance misuse, mental health and vocational training. An ‘all Wales youth offending strategy’ is currently in development (scheduled for December 2002). The most significant document, however, is:
National Assembly for Wales (2000), Extending Entitlement: supporting young people in Wales, Cardiff: National Assembly for Wales
(5) The local ‘status zer0’ study
The publication which was the catalyst for political/policy responses to the social exclusion of young people was a study of South Glamorgan. It may appear rather dated now, but it is important if you are to understand how research may gradually contribute to policy development:
Istance, D., Rees, G. and Williamson, H. (1994), Young People not in Education, Training or Employment in South Glamorgan, Cardiff: South Glamorgan Training and Enterprise Council
Beyond this, there is a wide range of literature on particular ‘youth’ domains, such as:
Brannen, J., Dodd, K., Oakley, A. and Storey, P. (1994), Young People, Health and Family Life, Buckingham: Open University Press
Cutler, D. and Frost, R. (2001), Taking the Initiative: promoting young people’s involvement in public decision-making in the UK, London: Carnegie Young People Initiative
Dwyer, P. and Wyn, J. (2001), Youth, Education and Risk: Facing the Future, London: RoutledgeFalmer
Evans, K. (1998), Shaping Futures: learning for competence and citizenship, Aldershot: Ashgate
Factor, F., Chauhan, V. and Pitts, J. (eds) (2001), The RHP Companion to Working with Young People, Lyme Regis: Russell House
Hall, T. and Williamson, H. (1999), Citizenship and Community, Leicester: Youth Work Press
Haines, K. and Drakeford, M. (1998), Young People and Youth Justice, London: Macmillan
Hutson, S. and Liddiard, M. (1994), Youth Homelessness: the Construction of a Social Issue, London: Macmillan
Jones, G. (1995), Leaving Home, Buckingham: Open University Press
Parker, H., Aldridge, J. and Egginton, J. (eds) (2001), UK Drugs Unlimited: new research and policy lessons on illicit drug use, London: Palgrave
Pitts, J. (2001), The New Politics of Youth Crime: Discipline or Solidarity, London: Palgrave
Plant, M. and Plant, M. (1992), Risk-Takers: Alcohol, Drugs, Sex and Youth, London: Routledge
Roberts, K. (1995), Youth and Employment in Modern Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Rugg, J. (ed.) (1999), Young People, Housing and Social Policy, London: Routledge
Rutter, M. and Smith, D. (eds) (1995), Psychosocial Disorders in Young People: time trends and their causes, Chichester: Wiley
Tomlinson, S. (2001), Education in a post-welfare society, Buckingham: Open University Press
White, C., Bruce, S. and Ritchie, J. (2000), Young people’s politics: political interest and engagement amongst 14-24-year-olds, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Young, K. (1999), The Art of Youth Work, Lyme Regis: Russell House
Use your initiative when planning your reading
Emerging in press at the moment is a sequence of publications arising from the Economic and Social Research Council’s research programme on ‘Youth, Citizenship and Social Change’. Many ‘user-friendly’ accounts have been published by Youth Work Press at the National Youth Agency (see advertisements in Young People Now). Look out for these, as well as publications from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s research programme on ‘Children, Young People and Families’ (the key messages from which are summarised in Gill Jones’ The Youth Divide – see above).
But do not restrict yourself to this literature. Explore the fields you are most interested in yourself; if you have questions concerning the usefulness of something you find, ask me. And always remember, the policy context is in constant change, so you need to be sure you are considering contemporary developments and not exploring the historical context! Keep an eye on the television news and documentaries, and headlines and articles in newspapers and magazines.
· Are all young people really work-shy?
· Do they all take drugs?
· Do none of them vote any more?
· Are they all hedonistic ravers, and regularly involved in unsafe sex?
· Is the education system really irrelevant for the 21st century?
· Are work and training schemes no more than ‘slave labour’?
· Is youth crime spiralling out of control?
Put those arguments in the context of your own thoughts (and memories!). Then pitch both of those ideas against the research and policy ‘evidence’ you come across. There may be a strong level of consistency across these things, but do not be surprised if you find considerable ‘dissonance’ between them. That should be the basis of your learning. And also remember, some books and articles are much more absorbing than others. If you find something rather turgid, don’t be put off the topic that you are interested in – find something else!
Cardiff School of Social Sciences
SOCIAL POLICY AND YOUNG PEOPLE
Your final assessment for this double module will be based on two essays of 1,500 words (30% each) and a class test/examination at the end of the course (40%). The examination will be unseen but a framework for what you are expected to do will be provided in advance: the precise topic(s) for discussion will not, however, be known. If you are on top of the issues within three policy domains, you will definitely not be caught out!
The basis for this framework of assessment is for you to demonstrate your understanding of the policy making process in relation to young people:
· From research to policy
· From policy to practice
· Winning 'political' support
Research takes many forms, from theoretical perspectives on the changing 'social condition' of young people to empirical analysis of particular 'youth questions' and the relationships between them. There is also the important distinction between large-scale 'summative' quantitative conclusions and small-scale 'formative' (or illuminative) qualitative assertions. The first is usually more to do with what; the latter to do with why and how. As Coles suggests, different attention is paid and emphasis given to these different forms of 'evidence' and data.
The policy context itself contributes to what may be possible to implement in practice. If, for example, much of the available evidence points to the need for positive 'developmental' initiatives but the policy climate is hostile to such measures and is inclined towards a more punitive stance, then such ideas are unlikely to take shape - irrespective of the research evidence available. There always has to be a level of 'realpolitik' about what is practically possible. During the PAT12 deliberations, the restoration of social security benefits for 16 and 17 year olds was considered to be a very necessary policy development if the hardships experienced by some groups of young people were to be addressed. It was known, however, that the government, including the Prime Minister, would not entertain such a move. To even suggest it might alienate them from other, more feasible, proposals. As a result, the more cautious recommendation that the government might wish to explore the value of the Australian Youth Allowance was advanced.
The two assessed essays, therefore, require you to consider these two steps in the policy-making process. You must choose two different policy areas for your two essays. The opportunity to draw together the research/policy/practice threads in one area of youth policy (which can, but need not, be any area you have already covered) will present itself in the class test/examination.
Drawing selectively and persuasively on research in relation to one area of youth policy, consider the extent to which recent policy development is based upon the available evidence.
Deadline: ?? January 2004
In one area of youth policy, discuss those factors which might facilitate or obstruct its effective implementation
Deadline: ?? May 2004
Advance warning of what will be expected of you in the examination
The class test/examination (one hour long) will be concerned with a concise presentation of the issues around one area of policy in relation to one particular 'category' of young people who present a challenge for that area of policy (for example, young heroin users, or teenage mothers).
A more detailed framework of these expectations will be given to you in the spring semester.