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Sounds of then, sounds of now: Popular music in Australia

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Sounds of then, sounds of now


The more things change ...

We include in this edition a paper that was first published in Youth Studies Australia 13 years ago, but I think most readers would be hard pressed to pick its age. Maybe we live in a very static period as far as youth issues are concerned, or maybe some youth issues are ?timeless' in Western cultures and Richard Eckersley, the author of the paper, was able to identify them.

We are reproducing Richard's paper not only because its continued relevance suggests a lack of societal development in areas crucial to human existence, but also because it illustrates the ongoing relevance of so many YSA papers to people working in the youth field.

After recently spending many weeks looking at all past issues of YSA, our director, Rob White, urged us to compile a resource for youth workers that brings together the wealth of pertinent and topical material that has appeared in the journal. He selected nearly 120 papers and divided them into three areas under the general title of Doing youth work in Australia. The three volumes will be subtitled: Concepts and methods of youth work; Youth work and youth issues; and Youth work and social diversity. Rob has written an introduction to Richard's paper and to the volumes, which is featured on p.9. We hope to have these publications available for purchase by the end of 2008.

Any connection between the remaining papers in this edition, other than a concern about youth issues, was not apparent to me until we put them all together, at which point I found that policy and practice was a subtheme common to three of them. Online network use in Australian schools is a very topical issue at the moment. We contribute to the literature with our second paper, which looks at the benefits to young people of online network use and argues for a more informed policy debate on the issue.

The third paper is also concerned with the implications of policy for young people's wellbeing, but, in this case, in regard to the ability of homeless young people to manage their school and employment pathways. Robyn Broadbent suggests that some government programs designed to equip homeless young people with the personal resources that other young people have are being hampered by policy decisions that make schooling and training unaffordable.

Policy and practice at the service level are the focus of the penultimate paper. Mindy Sotiri describes valuable research that informs a comprehensive list of recommendations for optimising service provision to marginalised young men.

Finally, six years after her first paper in YSA, Christine Siokou revisits raves with an ethnographic study that suggests that changes in the Melbourne rave scene mean not only that young people are exposed to a greater variety of drugs, but also that this and other differences between "original" raves and new raves/dance parties allow "old skool ravers" to claim subcultural capital in the form of an "authentic rave identity".

We hope, as always, that this selection of papers provides those working with young people with information and inspiration to assist them in their valuable work.
Sue Headley