Anarchy in identity: 20 years of Punk
by Susan Hopkins
Youth Studies Australia, v.16, n.1, March 1997, pp.11-18
If the Punk of 1976 responded to social economic crisis (Chambers 1986, p.170), punk precisely 20 years on has responded to a common crisis of identity. 'Old' youth concerns with the wider world have given way to a new 'alternative', an intense concern with the self and its imperfection. Being a young punk in the 1990s is not the same as being a young punk in the 1970s. While youth is still defying convention, youthful rebellion is increasingly sophisticated and parodic in response to an increasingly radicalised measure of convention. The 90s punks are mainstream alternatives, abandoning critical distance to subvert 'repression' from within. New punks are cynical about counterculture claims, seeing no way out of this contemporary, post-modern, media economy. While an older generation may have experienced the 70s as a time progressive change, for contemporary youth, growing up in the 70s and 80s has meant growing up subject to the hold of therapy culture, subject to self-examination delivered as 'self-growth'. Since the rise of progressive discourses and the legitimation of well-intended, expert 'help', concerns about youth have been translated into new forms of control. New punk addresses these forms, claiming the right not to resist. In a world of increasingly rapid change, contemporary youth are reaching for survival, not revolution, through irony and self-deprecating humour. The new popular punk subverts 'progressive' discourses by accident, by making a joke of the moral imperatives of 'healthy' self-growth, drawing pleasure from apathy and underachievement. New punk celebrates maladjusted selves and makes inadequacy an art form.
Mad, Bad or Angry?: Gender, sexual abuse and the pathologising of young women's behaviour
by Margaret Baines
Youth Studies Australia, v.16, n.1, March 1997, pp.19-24
Do we pathologise the behaviours of difficult young women - the same behaviours that when exhibited by young men are not really a problem?
Margaret Baines suggests that our social constructions of feminity may affect the way juvenile justice workers and youth workers respond to the difficult young women in their care. She also questions the ready assumption that sexual abuse is the explanation for many problematic or 'inappropriate' behaviours in young women.
Youth violence and the limits of moral panic
by Stephen Tomsen
Youth Studies Australia, v.16, n.1, March 1997, pp.25-30
The recent trend towards dismissing the concerns about youth violence as simply expressions of 'moral panic' and not supported by statistical data, overlooks the many unreported and unrecorded acts of violence, often occurring in alcohol-related settings, in which the victims are frequently young males. These acts of violence, argues Stephen Tomsen, are deserving of greater attention, both to understand their cause and to protect the victims.
Young men, violence and social health
by Rob White
Youth Studies Australia, v.16, n.1, March 1997, pp.31-37
Rob White discusses selected aspects of the relationship between young men's health and masculinity, and the wider political, social and economic context in which young men attempt to express themselves and find purpose in their lives.
Youth health and the role of GPs
by Steve Francis
Youth Studies Australia, v.16, n.1, March 1997, pp.38-42
As familiar as each of us may be with our own general practitioner, we have little insight into how this often solitary and frequently time-constrained health professional is able to connect with the diverse concerns of the community which he or she is servicing. Steve Francis briefly describes here a recent initiative aimed at supporting GPs through projects and programs to help them provide an enhanced level of health care and an improved understanding of the health concerns of their community, including young people.
The contradictory position of youth workers in the public sphere
by Howard Sercombe
Youth Studies Australia, v.16, n.1, March 1997, pp.43-47
With frequent mainstream media coverage of youth issues such as homelessness and unemployment, we are gradually seeing more reference to comments from youth workers and spokespersons for community organisations. While these workers are still very much in the background of these stories and their remarks are limited through journalistic convention, the comments that do appear in the news indicate the way youth work positions itself in the public sphere. The research reported here - from the author's point of view as a youth worker himself - reveals that these comments also suggest a range of tensions within youth workers' understanding of their own practice.