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Problematizing prents, governing troubled youth
Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Pedagogik.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1555-6493
Linköping University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0694-5753
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The article focuses on current debate on troubled youth, living in socio-economically deprived suburbs in Sweden, and particularly discourses on problems of alienation, crime, arson and anti-social behaviour among youth. In the article, interviews with the representatives of different organisations involved in managing the youth problem are analysed. One recurring theme in the interviews is problem discourses representing the parent as a problem. Departing from Foucault´s understanding of governmentality and the formation of subjectivity, we analyse the construction of problems, problematization, and conceivable solutions, as depicted by the interviewees. The problematizations recurring in the interviews are the deficiency of urban space, dysfunctional family relations and parents as being passive and culturally different. On the basis of such problematizations the interviewees propose solutions in various ways fostering the parents to become responsible and active subjects, who have internalised current norms and values. Other central solutions emerging in the interviews are the development of various forms of communicative skills as well as a range of pre-emptive measures targeting the parents. An important conclusion in the article is that this way of developing possible solutions to the problems of suburban youth tends to focus on the transformation of individual parents, while structural dimensions get out of focus. What appears is a desire to foster parents and thus to produce a certain kind of subject, namely an active, responsible and cooperative individual, involved in the local community.

Method

The study’s problem complexes are investigated using the qualitative methodological approach. In a large city of Sweden, individual and focus group interviews with representatives for local institutions (schools, social service and police), those active in organizations and civic initiatives. In total 19 interviews have been conducted and over thirty hours of interviews have been analysed. The area where the fieldwork has been conducted demonstrates low school results, high mobility amongst the population and in school-classes, large number of recipients of social welfare and inhabitants with immigrant background, high unemployment rates (40-90%) as well as proportionally large percentage of population under the age of 25.

Expected Outcomes

On the basis of such problematizations the interviewees propose solutions in various ways fostering the parents to become responsible and active subjects, who have internalised current norms and values. Other central solutions emerging in the interviews are the development of various forms of communicative skills as well as a range of pre-emptive measures targeting the parents. An important conclusion in the article is that this way of developing possible solutions to the problems of suburban youth tends to focus on the transformation of individual parents, while structural dimensions get out of focus. What appears is a desire to foster parents and thus to produce a certain kind of subject, namely an active, responsible and cooperative individual, involved in the local community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Educational Sciences International Migration and Ethnic Relations Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-15461OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-15461DiVA: diva2:930429
Conference
ECER 2015 Education and Transition - Contributions from Educational Research: 7 to 11 September 2015, Budapest
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 721-2013-885
Available from: 2016-05-24 Created: 2016-05-24 Last updated: 2016-06-01Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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