Academic Literature

Understanding Youth Exclusion: Critical Moments, Social Networks and Social Capital

2008
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Understanding Youth Exclusion: Critical Moments, Social Networks and Social Capital

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The paper reviews some key findings from research in North East England that was based on young people’s accounts of growing up in poor neighbourhoods. The studies were neither youth policy evaluations nor investigations of the potential of mentoring. However, in focussing on the role of ‘critical moments’, social capital and social networks in shaping youth transitions, the paper highlights questions that are relevant to professional work with young people in the context of social exclusion. It identifies two examples of positive professional practice that assisted young adults in turning away from destructive lifestyles and transitions. It concludes, however, that even the proliferation of this sort of best practice but would be unable to reverse the longer-term, deeper set processes of collective downward social mobility and economic marginalization experienced by informants.

Shildrick, T. A. and MacDonald, R. (2008). Understanding youth exclusion: critical moments, social networks and social capital. Youth and Policy, 99, 46-64.

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