Poverty and Youth Transition
Recent years have witnessed significant changes in the social and economic context of young people’s lives. There is increasing evidence of a greater disparity between those with prospects and those without. For some, these changes represent a time of unlimited opportunity – to travel, to seek personal and spiritual fulfilment or to undertake a whole host of self-developing activities – before settling into adult life. For others however, such opportunities are still as distant as they would have appeared a half century ago. France (2008a) argues that since 1997, ‘youth policy’s primary focus has been on reducing social exclusion rather than being aimed at poverty’ (p498). Policy tends to focus on what it depicts as ‘inappropriate’ or ‘problem’ behaviour and in doing so, it ignores the structural issues which can marginalise and impoverish young people’s lives.
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