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Cover (small) September 2008 Youth Studies Australia

Editorial: Generation gap or group hug?

When he gave the Bob White Memorial Lecture in 2004, Michael Pusey, Professor of Sociology at the University of New South Wales, noted that every year Australian newspapers publish stories about the conflict between the baby boomer generation and their now adult children, which are then disseminated around Australia through talkback radio shows. Despite these efforts to whip up outrage and indignation, Pusey noted, 'the discourse achieves little traction in the public imagination'. In the first paper in this issue of YSA, Michael Pusey draws on 'state-of-the-art' social attitudes research to argue that, in fact, relationships between the generations may be better than they've been for at least 30 years.

Kristin Natalier follows on from Pusey with her analysis of data from a qualitative study of young people living in share households, which suggests that while young people relish achieving an independent status, the relationship between the generations is very strong, as evidenced by young people's continued financial dependence on their parents, even when living separately.

Sarah MacLean draws our attention to young people in less happy situations - those who use inhalants. Using the Victorian situation as an example, she considers whether the reasons given in 2000 for excluding inhalants from drug education in schools are still valid, given recent research in this area.

Still in schools, Doug Bridge, from the Institute for Inclusive Learning Communities at the University of Tasmania, outlines the trial of the Pride & Prejudice program in Tasmanian schools, its evaluation and the potential of the program to counter homophobia in secondary schools in Australia.

Following on from their paper on youth workers in rural Victoria in the December issue of YSA, Lisa Bourke and Paula Geldens discuss their research into the meaning of wellbeing for rural youth and for youth workers, and the implications of the similarities and differences in perspectives of the two groups.

The issue concludes with a practice paper by Jackie Kirk and Elizabeth Cassity that outlines the development of the Minimum standards for education in emergencies, chronic crises and early reconstruction contexts and argues for the use of these standards by Australian educators working with newly arrived refugee youth.
Sue Headley