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Youth Studies Australia

v.29, n.1, 2010

Article summaries

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Promise or practice?

Student participation in low socioeconomic communities

by Roslyn Black

Youth Studies Australia, v.29, n.2, 2010, pp. 9-15

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The escalating policy emphasis on civic participation is designed to increase the participation of young people within their communities. Young people have the will to participate but, in low socioeconomic contexts, their participation remains both contested and compromised. This is particularly evident in relation to the role of schools in low socioeconomic areas. These schools are charged with fostering young people’s civic participation, yet the way in which they enact this mandate is subject to numerous tensions between policy and practice. This article examines these tensions and their implications for the participation of the most marginalised young people. It also outlines a research agenda with the potential to reveal more about this situation and inform future policy and practice.

Social inclusion

Is this a way forward for young people, and should we go there?

by Kathy Edwards

Youth Studies Australia, v.29, n.2, 2010, pp. 16-24

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This paper has two aims. It considers what social inclusion could offer young people and the youth sector in Australia, and it reflects on how social inclusion has shaped the youth policy environment in Australia. It is argued that in order to consider these issues, it is necessary to understand social inclusion’s history. Using a methodology of policy analysis based on Bacchi’s (2009) approach, this paper explores the policy context of social inclusion in Europe and the United Kingdom, offering these as a comparison with Australia. It is argued that social inclusion is a policy chimera, and that it plays all-too-familiar roles in policies that target young people.

Who to be?

Generations X and Y in civil society online

by Hilary Yerbury

Youth Studies Australia, v.29, n.2, 2010, pp. 25-32

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An ethnographic study of members of generations X and Y which explored participants’ perspectives on the creation and understanding of identity, found that young people have a strong sense of self, and value authenticity in themselves and others while recognising that it is possible to create multiple identities. Information and communication technologies were seen to both support and threaten their sense of self. Participants approached the question of ‘who to be’ in many ways, each of which revealed tensions between the freedom to create one’s own identity and the desire for authenticity, and between the need for a sense of security and recognition of the possibility of experimenting with something challenging or different.

‘Finding voice’

Learnings and insights from a participatory media project with recently arrived Afghan young men with refugee backgrounds

by Anthony Rodríguez- Jiménez & Sandra M. Gifford

Youth Studies Australia, v.29, n.2, 2010, pp. 33-41

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Participatory media approaches were used as a strategy to provide space for youth with refugee backgrounds to narrate their early settlement experiences. The paper describes the challenges of participatory media approaches as both a research tool and as a strategy. The key learning was that giving freedom for voices also requires giving structure – freedom and structure go hand in hand in creating spaces for exploring and expressing early settlement experiences.

‘The mouse that dared to roar’

Youths and the Camden controversy

by Ryan Al-Natour

Youth Studies Australia, v.29, n.2, 2010, pp. 42-50

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In late 2007, a proposal for an Islamic school in Camden, a semi-rural area located in the greater Sydney region, sparked concern among local residents. This paper examines the discourses relating to representations of young people in Camden at that time, as expressed by both young people and adults. It explores the prominent literature on moral panics and includes a brief discussion of the moral panics and controversies surrounding Arab and Muslim youths. It then outlines the events involved in the Camden controversy, and examines the discourses and operations of young people in this controversy.


Experiences, impacts and coping strategies as described by Australian young people

by Megan Price & John Dalgleish

Youth Studies Australia, v.29, n.2, 2010, pp. 51-59

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Cyberbullying impacts on the wellbeing, schooling, family and peer relationships of many young people. The current study of 548 young Australians revealed that cyberbullying is a group phenomenon most prevalent during the transitional ages between primary and secondary school. It takes on many forms and shows an overlap in roles between ‘bully’ and ‘victim’. Despite the serious emotional impacts of cyberbullying, over a quarter of victims did not seek support from others, which highlights the need for more information and support to be given to young people to encourage them to speak out.