?Mass youth unemployment is now endemic and almost ubiquitous in the global north and south alike. This book offers an original and challenging interpretation of the ways in which young people’s unemployment and general non-participation is becoming marginalised and criminalised. It re-examines the causes and consequences of non-participation from an unusually wide range of disciplines, using an innovative theorisation of the fast-changing relationships between extended studentship, welfare provision, labour market restructuring and crime. This approach offers an important contribution for understanding what it means for young people to be socially re-positioned and economically excluded in increasingly unequal societies, in and beyond the UK.
Ross Fergusson is Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the Open University. He has published widely on young people in leading journals in social policy, politics, youth justice and education, drawing on primary research findings, critical policy analysis and social and political-economic theory.
“Ross Fergusson shows that there is not just an economic and social crisis that affects the young in rich-world countries but also a crisis in our understanding of how and why it has come about. His book is a major new critique of several theories. It suggests what can be salvaged from current academic misunderstandings, and how academics can better work with others to begin to turn the tide for young adults who are treated as if they are no longer needed, or are useful only for menial work of little real value.” Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography, University of Oxford
"Young People, Welfare and Crime is scholarly. It is readable. It provides an original analysis. This book excels on all levels …It offers a stunningly clear theoretical framework… Its interdisciplinary analysis is utterly compelling and masterful. The implications are profoundly unsettling…" Professor Jo Phoenix, British Journal of Criminology
A wide-ranging, knowledgeable and sophisticated attempt to offer fresh insights and a strong challenge to the ways in which the young are marginalised and manipulated by dominant social forces." Professor Roger Smith, Critical Social Policy
“Educational under-achievement and exclusion, diminishing labour-market opportunities and wholesale criminalisation comprise the adverse conditions within which complex youth-adult transitions are increasingly defined and disfigured internationally. Fergusson’s timely publication engages with these conditions empirically and theoretically with a level of analytical precision and authority that will make it an indispensable source for sociologists, social policy analysts and criminologists.” Barry Goldson, Charles Booth Chair of Social Science, University of Liverpool
“Young people invariably bear the brunt of social and economic change – especially recessions, and the neo-liberal austerities and criminalising and neglectful injustices that follow them. Fergusson's original interdisciplinary analysis sets a convincing late modern context for grasping the depths of our crisis of youth as it explains why, how and upon whom the burdens of social exclusion fall the hardest.” Peter Squires, Professor of Criminology and Public Policy, University of Brighton
"This is an important book. It challenges established approaches to understanding the lives of young people; works across disciplines; … and locates debates about participation, welfare and crime in a critical constellation of perspectives… The implications … are serious - not only for those young people who continue to defy the strictures of the state, but also for the principles of social justice and democracy... " Professor Robin Simmons, Young
“This is an exciting book. Too often scholarly debates and policy thinking about young people take place in separate disciplinary fields, limiting the theoretical potential for understanding. Here Ross Fergusson has produced an important and novel contribution to the way that we should think about the exclusion of young people. The book is to be commended for its ambition in bringing together theory and research from youth studies, criminology, sociology and social policy, better to understand work, welfare and crime.” Rob MacDonald, Professor of Sociology, Teesside University
“Ross Fergusson has important things to say. His book cuts through much muddled thinking about young people’s non-participation. It challenges dominant policy discourses about contemporary youth and much academic thinking, and offers an original and critically-informed analysis which disrupts the traditional disciplinary restrictions which limit our understanding of the lives of young people on the margins of education and work.” Robin Simmons, Professor of Education, University of Huddersfield
“Working in sophisticated fashion across disciplines and theoretical approaches, this unique – and very welcome – book provides much-needed contemporary insights into the complex relationships among youth unemployment, welfare and crime.” Nick Ellison, Professor of Social Policy, University of York