First up, a sweeping and thought-provoking extended review of Henry Giroux’s Youth in a Suspect Society by Doug Nicholls.
He ends by arguing:
Youth work for young people.
So we find ourselves with young people at the centre of the neoliberal target and the critical pedagogy that we represent not far away from it. Young people will suffer more unless youth workers restore their conviction and practice in a socialist inspired, radical critique of society and an engagement of young people and communities in collective action for change.
We have always understood culture as Giroux does “as an activity in which young people actually produce the conditions of their own agency through dialogue, community participation, public stories, and political struggle.” It is the defence and reassertion of this culture that is now at stake.
Both Doug’s review and Henry Giroux’s book raise all manner of issues, which demand further debate. I hope critical responses are in the offing.
Secondly we’re chuffed to bring you the news that the first edition of CONCEPT’s web-based journal is on-line at http://concept.lib.ed.ac.uk/index.php/Concept/index
Amongst the riches to be found there are Mae Shaw on ‘Repoliticising Democracy’, which is itself partially a response to a cutting critique of the Edinburgh Papers [to be found on our Contemporary Critical Thoughts page] by Bob Hamilton, The Pedagogy of the Depressed and Paolo Freire : A Beginners’ Guide by Emilio Lucio-Villegas.
Thirdly we tripped over to our considerable interest Justin Wyllie ‘completing the Every Child Matters statistical monitoring form in connection with the volunteering work he does with a young person for his local authority’ prior to reflecting seriously upon its implications across the board. He concludes that ‘New Labour’s Every Child Matters agenda is underpinned by a diminished technological vision of human beings. It is an arrogant and foolish idea to ignore local communities and traditions, teachers and youth workers and supplant these with a national script for the upbringing of every child, written up in Whitehall. At best it is a misguided attempt to produce more economically productive young people and a more homogeneous society.’
I suspect that his libertarian analysis will not be to everyone’s taste, but I don’t think it can be ignored.
More links to critical writing soon.
Best Wishes for 2010