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What young people?
– the political invisibility of youth

Youth appear to have 'fallen off the radar' in social policy debate. With an election imminent, what does this mean for the future of young people and youth work in Australia?

Three papers in this issue focus on interactions between youth and those who work with them, and between youth and governments, and society more generally.

The topic of youth work will again be visited in the December issue of YSA. Other challenging topics in the current issue are: violent teenage deaths, public space and rights, and teens in cyberspace.

From personal to structural: Towards critical change in youth work practice
by Victor Wong (peer reviewed article)

Youth Studies Australia, v. 23, n.3, 2004, pp.11-16.

Victor Wong, from Hong Kong Baptist University, argues that if the welfare and interests of youth are to be promoted, youth workers need to critically review their ideology and practice, and maintain and advocate youth work that is orientated towards the 'structural'. With the support of an intensive literature review and discussion, Dr Wong compares and contrasts the traditional and structural youth work models in relation to their different conceptualisations of youth, social context, the theoretical underpinnings of practice, and the roles of youth workers.

'Up periscope': The future for youth work in Australia
by Judith Bessant (peer reviewed article)

Youth Studies Australia, v. 23, n.3, 2004, pp.17-25.

What are the major challenges facing youth work in Australia in the future? Are they environmental, global, economic, professional or demographic? Are they none, or all, of the above? Judith Bessant discusses the possible impact of these factors and more in her invitation to the sector to engage in a discussion that is vital to the ongoing development of the youth work as a respected profession that is effective in the service it offers to young people.

Nonviolence as a framework for youth work practice
by Graeme Stuart (peer reviewed article)

Youth Studies Australia, v. 23, n.3, 2004, pp.26-32.

A philosophy of nonviolence provides a potential framework for youth workers. Graeme Stuart discusses key principles of nonviolence, presents a model of nonviolent youth work practice and discusses implications for youth workers. The model is intended for use as a tool for youth workers to reflect on their own practice rather than as a prescriptive instruction manual.

Violent teenage deaths: Do they fit childhood or adult scenarios?
by Ruth Lawrence and Toby Fattore (peer reviewed article)

Youth Studies Australia, v. 23, n.3, 2004, pp.33-39.

Does the pattern of deaths from fatal assault in teenage years resemble the pattern of earlier childhood fatal assault, or is it the beginning of the pattern of fatal violence in adulthood? Ruth Lawrence and Toby Fattore discuss their research, which examines the evidence available to answer this question.

Public space: A rights-based approach
by Anna Copeland (peer reviewed article)

Youth Studies Australia, v. 23, n.3, 2004, pp.40-45.

More and more young people are being excluded or banned from shopping centres and malls. There is a lack of clarity about the legality of such measures, for while many of these centres are privately owned, they are opened up for public use. Using common law and human rights frameworks, Anna Copeland looks closely at the legality of moving young people on.

Teens in cyberspace: Do they encounter friend or foe?
by Michele Fleming and Debra Rickwood (peer reviewed article)

Youth Studies Australia, v. 23, n.3, 2004, pp.46-50.

Parents are increasingly concerned by their teens' use of the Internet. Many teens spend hours surfing the Net when parents would prefer them to be doing homework, out playing sport, or even out at the mall. In particular, concerns revolve around pornography, social isolation and safety. Media reports of cyber-predators have parents fearful that their children could be lured, or even tracked, by paedophiles. Michele Fleming and Debra Rickwood investigate whether parents' fears are well founded or not in this review of the literature on teens' use of the Internet.