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Canadian-only ProductCritical Youth Studies: A Canadian Focus

By James E. Cote, Anton L. Allahar

Published by Pearson Education Canada

Published Date: Oct 12, 2005


Sociology of Adolescence is a second- or third-year course, examining the social definitions of adolescence in cross-cultural and historical perspectives. 


In their previous examination of the Sociology of Adolescence in a book titled, Generation On Hold (1994), the authors observed the increasingly prolonged transitional period between the dependency of childhood and the independence of adulthood caused by diminished workplace opportunities.


Critical Youth Studies now expands upon that topic using clear evidence of this trend and its troubling consequences. Not only in Canada, but also in virtually every advanced industrialized country in the world, the full cohort transition now spans the ages of 15 to 30. Young people constitute a disadvantaged group in need of special academic and policy attention, whether they go on to higher education or complete high school or less.

What lies behind the growing inequalities among age cohorts? Should it be taken for granted as the “new normal”? This book presents a focused argument that challenges complacency and provides a model for critical thinking on these issues.


Table of Contents



An Introduction to Critical Youth Studies


Part I: Understanding the Prolongation of Youth


Chapter 1


Three History Lessons           

A Brief History Of Youth-Adult Relations          

A Brief History Of Youth In Canada         

Youth in the Context of Contemporary Canadian Society



Chapter 2


The Discovery of Youth: Social Scientific Attempts to Explain Coming of Age Processes


The Early Focus on Biology

The Legacy of G. Stanley Hall           

From Storm and Stress to an Essential Stage           

From Biology to Pathology        

The Later Attention to Culture         



Conservative Approaches: Social Evolution

Implications of the Conservative Approach         

Critical Approaches: Material Interests and Symbolic Meanings         

Changing Material Conditions        

Implications of the Political-economy Approach           

Changing Symbolic Conditions        

Implications of the Late-modernist Approach         

Summary of the Critical Approaches      

Criticisms of Theories  

The Limitations of Biology-Based Theories         

Conclusion: The Limitations and Advantages of Culture-Based Theories         



Chapter 3        


The Changing Nature of the Transition to Adulthood         


Demographic Shifts Affecting the Fortunes of the Young  

Changes in the Educational and Workplace Opportunities Involved in the Transition to Adulthood        

Educational Opportunities and Challenges      

Workplace Opportunities and Challenges      

The Changing Means of Production, Technological Displacement, and the Redistribution of Wealth           

Wages, Participation, and Placement       


Participation Rates           

Job Ghettoization           

Conclusion: The Disenfranchisement of Youth      



Part II: Critical Perspectives Illustrated       


Chapter 4        


The Conquest of Youth: Survival of the Fittest in a Corporate Culture 


The Individualization of Identities: Freedom or Obstacle?        

Youth as a Moratorium Period  

Youth as a Period of Prolonged Societal Marginalization 

The Corporate Manipulation of Youth Identity Formation         

The Undermined Sense of Well-Being in the Transition to Adulthood         


Psychological Well-being   

Risk and Crime   

Conclusion: The Individualization Contradiction    



Chapter 5        


Ideology and Conformity: The Political Economy of Youth   


The Politics of Social Control: Disguising Corporate Manipulations   

The Manufacture of Consent           

The Ideology of Youth   

Ideology and the Politics of Language        

Youth and Ideological Control 

Ideology and Illusion 

The Politics of Social Control   

A Window into Corporation Manipulation of Young Workers: The Fast-food Industry           

The Manufacture of Dissent

Dissent Among Young Women

What is Sex?    

High School Shootings        

Youth Gangs  

“Rock on” or Riot on?           




Chapter 6        


Complementarity and the Social Control of Youth Dissent


Ideological Control        

The Principle of Complementarity         

Complementarity Illustrated         

The Mass Media  

Mass Education           

Distractions and False Hope: Lotteries and Sports  

Gender Intensification  

Political (Non)Participation        

Conclusion: The “Benefits” of Complementarity in the Manufacture of Consent           



Chapter 7        


Models of Social Justice for Youth   

Introduction: A Recap of Insights

Cycle or Trend? 

Intergenerational Justice and the Revolt of the Élites         

Structural Solutions: International Comparisons of Economic Prospects and Government Policies

The UK: Fighting social exclusion and promoting citizenship rights   

Sweden and the Fully Functioning Human Being   

Sweden’s Fight Against Youth Disenfranchisement       

The Higher Educational System

Guaranteed Incomes         

Special Programmes for Marginal Youth 

Resources for Positive Development Among all Youth   


Personal Solutions: Recommendations to the Individual Young People 

Conclusion: Confronting the “Cult of Impotence”       


Purchase Info

ISBN-10: 0-13-127590-9

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-127590-4

Format: Book

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